Despite performing poorly in the opening 45 minutes in this La Liga match at the Bernabeu, Real Madrid made up for it with a fantastic performance in the second half. Betis struggled as the game wore on and had no answer to Madrid's clinical forward line.
Higuain was the hero for Madrid this evening, as he continued his wonderful form in recent weeks. His well-taken hat-trick tonight made it 9 goals in 4 games for club and country in the past 11 days.
With the scores still level in the first half Betis' keeper Casto did well to push Cristiano Ronaldo's devilish cross to relative safety only for Mezut Ozil to hack the ball back towards goal. Then, it was only a decent block from Dorado that ensured the scores remained level.
Betis' best chance of the first half fell to Ruben Castro but he could only volley over from ten yards out after being found in space inside the penalty area.
It was a disappointing half for the home side, and as the whistle was blown its efforts were meeted with jeers by an expectant crowd at the Bernabeu.
Having said that, it was not long before Madrid broke the deadlock in the second half. Less than 45 seconds into the second half it took the lead through Higuain.
Marcelo hooked a wonderful ball over the right back and Ronaldo exhibited his electric pace to get on the wrong side of the defender and pull the ball back to Higuain. The Argentine calmly slotted into an empty net from 6 yards out and in doing so continued his rich vein of goalscoring form for club and country.
Kaka made it 2-0 with a superb effort after Ronaldo found him on the edge of the area after steaming past Chica down the left. Kaka took a touch to set himself and then whipped the ball round Casto and into the bottom corner of the net. The Brazilian was clearly delighted with his strike and despite being substituted immediately after was sporting a grin as he took his place on the bench.
Betis pulled a goal back minutes later – after hesitancy in the Madrid area allowed Castro to burst through, the ricochet fell to Jorge Molina who controlled the ball well and fired past Casillas.
Higuain made it 3-1 on 70 minutes, rounding Casto and slotting home from an acute angle after another glorious assist, this time from substitute and Argentina teammate Di Maria.
Di Maria was the provider yet again as Higuain completed his hat-trick, his second in a row in La Liga. The Argentine saved the best until last, lobbing a beautiful finish over Casto's head after racing through one-on-one.
The win for Madrid puts it top for the time being, as Barcelona, who could move above it, takes on Racing Santander this evening. Betis meanwhile, will be disappointed to be beaten in such a manner in the second half, but will not have been surprised by the form of some of Madrid's stars.