Striding clear at the LaLiga summit and with the title edging ever nearer to being wrapped up, Barcelona took to the pitch at a rainy Camp Nou with confidence coursing through their veins.
It didn’t take long for their dominance to bear fruit either when Betis could only half clear a corner, and as Raphinha returned the ball with interest, Andreas Christensen was on hand to power home his first goal in Barca colours.
As if Betis’ task wasn’t difficult enough at a goal down, Edgar Gonzalez left their chances of a comeback in tatters when he was handed a second yellow card.
In an interesting subplot, Gonzalez was actually introduced as a 13th-minute substitute for the injured Luiz Felipe and Betis’ misery wasn’t to stop there as just moments later Robert Lewandowski doubled Barca’s advantage to realistically end the game as a contest.
If there were any lingering Betis hopes of pulling off perhaps the league’s greatest-ever comeback, they were quickly diffused before the break when Raphinha struck a third for Xavi’s side to rub salt into the wounds of Pellegrini’s men.
Managing to stem the tide in the opening stages of the second half was a small win in itself for Betis, though there still remained a sense of inevitably that Barca would add to their tally.
Team spirit undoubtedly held the key to Betis avoiding being on the receiving end of a whitewash, but some Barca wastefulness also helped, with Raphinha squandering a glorious opportunity to add a fourth for the hosts.
With Guido Rodriguez’s own goal came yet more humiliation for Betis, but for Barca it allowed them to introduce 15-year-old Lamine Yamal to become the club’s youngest-ever player to feature in LaLiga.
Victory moved Barca a step closer to regaining the title, while Betis continue to cling onto sixth spot.