Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona brushed aside Sevilla to keep up the pressure on Real Madrid in the La Liga title race.
The hosts were in control from start to finish and opened the scoring through Luis Suarez’s overhead volley. Messi swept in a quick second from Suarez’s cutback before making it 3-0 with a fierce volley.
Sevilla were reduced to 10 men in the 90th minute when Vitolo was sent for a second booking after a foul on Neymar. Substitute Pablo Sarabia had Sevilla’s two best chances with powerful long-range drives in the second half but the visitors never really looked like scoring.
Here are the Barcelona player ratings after an impressive 3-0 win over Sevilla:
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (7): Good with his feet passing out from the back and made a number of saves. None were particularly special, but one in the first half from Steven N’Zonzi at 0-0 was crucial.
Javier Mascherano (7): Made a huge amount of interceptions in the second half as Sevilla grew into the game.
Gerard Pique (7): Heard his name largely chanted by the Camp Nou crowd after his comments about Real Madrid during the international break. Was booked and will miss the Malaga game through suspension. Was also taken off for a breather here.
Samuel Umtiti (7): Good at his defensive duties and showed he can pass a ball, too. One left-to-right switch to Sergi Roberto was brilliant.
Sergio Busquets (8): Another good performance from Busquets, who is back in good form.
Ivan Rakitic (7): Did the dirty work well, chipping in with Sergi Roberto to cover Barça’s right flank. Had a chance to score in the second half, but blazed over.
Andres Iniesta (7): Completed 90 minutes for just the sixth time in La Liga this season. Has seen his game time managed by Luis Enrique, but demonstrated once again he will be there when it matters.
Lionel Messi (9): Well rested after missing games for Argentina and Barcelona suspended, he tore Sevilla apart. Created the first goal, scored two of his own and could have had a hat-trick. Missing La Paz may prove hugely beneficial for Barca.
Sergi Roberto (8): Filled in on the right for the injured Rafinha and showed there’s not much between the two. Got up and down throughout the 90 minutes to decent effect.
Luis Suarez (9): A typically brilliant improvised finish allowed Barca to open the scoring. Was replaced early in the second half by Paco Alcacer.
Neymar (8): Another electric performance from the Brazilian although didn’t manage to get on the score sheet. Mariano did well at times but Neymar still managed to get the better of him in the build-up to the second Barca goal. Some ridiculous dribbles in the second half.
Paco Alcacer (6): Sergio Rico saved the one chance which fell his way.
Lucas Digne (6): First appearance since February, coming on for Pique with 15 minutes to play.
Carlos Aleña (6): Came on for the second game running, replacing Rakitic in the final minutes.