Barca’s 28-match unbeaten run in all competitions came to end when they lost the second leg of their Copa del Rey quarter-final to Real Betis in midweek, were ahead inside 90 seconds through Pedro’s sixth goal of 2011. Lionel Messi made it two and Iniesta’s deflected shot secured all three points. Barcelona have picked up an amazing 55 points from a possible 60 in the league this season and are provisionally seven points clear of bitter rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Elsewhere Luis Fabiano scored a hat-trick as Sevilla continued their improved form with a convincing 4-1 victory over struggling Levante at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan. Two goals from Fabiano and another from Julien Escude put Sevilla 3-0 up by half-time and, although Levante pulled a goal back through Xisco Munoz in the 58th minute, Fabiano completed his treble 10 minutes later to wrap up the scoring.
Valencia struggled to a 4-3 home win against nine-man Málaga. The visitors, who had Martín Demichelis and Hélder Rosário dismissed, twice led in the game, but a late strike from Aritz Aduriz was enough to move Valenica up to third place.