Messi touched by Betis gesture

SEVILLE, SPAIN - MARCH 17: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's fourth goal during the La Liga match between Real Betis Balompie and FC Barcelona at Estadio Benito Villamarin on March 17, 2019 in Seville, Spain. (Photo by Aitor Alcalde/Getty Images)

Real Betis were given a footballing lesson against Barcelona thanks to a Lionel Messi masterclass who bagged a hat-trick in the game.

The Barcelona captain later admitted he was touched by the home fans gesture who sang his name and applauded him following his exquisite finish for the third goal.

Atleti’s loss leaves the Catalan giants 10 points clear of the chasing pack at the top of LaLiga Santander, with the chances for a dramatic collapse lessening by the day.

“After Atletico’s defeat, we couldn’t falter,” he explained in the mixed zone. “It’s a very important victory today.

“Goals are important as they allow us to take three points, and we took advantage of a very good opportunity.”

Messi reckoned Quique Setien’s charges mounted an incredible challenge with their pressing game and attacking style.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - MARCH 04: LeBron James #23 of the Los Angeles Lakers looks on during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Clippers at Staples Center on March 04, 2019 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Cappa compares Messi with LeBron James

According to the Real Madrid assistant coach, the problem with Messi and Argentina is that they are "different schools of play."

The first half saw the hosts create a number of chances, and the Argentine feels as though it took a lot for Los Cules to come away with all three points.

“They’re a team that treat the ball very well,” he admitted via Marca.

“However, we didn’t suffer for a moment; we were very organised.

“Sometimes we have to adapt our style to suit the opposition, and in specific moments of matches we have to be prepared for anything.”

His brilliant chipped finish over Pau Lopez from just inside the penalty area made headlines after the game, and the 31-year-old was touched by the gesture.

“I’m very grateful,” he confirmed.

“It’s never happened to me before. They always treat us very well, regardless of whether we’re rivals.”