Barcelona kept up the pressure on Real Madrid with a convincing 3-0 victory over Sevilla at the Camp Nou.
In truth, it was never really a contest as Luis Enrique’s side were three-up after 33 minutes and saw out the match comfortably.
After Luis Suarez’s overhead kick opened the scoring, Lionel Messi bagged a brace to keep them two points behind Madrid – although they have played an extra match.
What we saw in the first 45 minutes from Barcelona was probably the best first-half display of the season.
Well, that’s what Enrique thought anyway.
“Probably we have put in the best first-half performance of the season,” said Enrique. “I am happy because it is a positive victory over a great team and because of how we controlled the game.”
While it was a fantastic team performance, we want to highlight a moment of individual magic.
No, it wasn’t Suarez’s brilliant overhead kick but a sublime piece of dribbling from Messi.
With just one minute remaining, Messi was confronted by three opponents and somehow wriggled free, before picking up a free-kick. It was incredible.
Take a look:
Ray Hudson: "Messi is like a squirrel on a telegraph wire.” pic.twitter.com/qLXFVUJ9I4
— MESSI HDR 6-1 🤙🏾 (@messihdr) April 5, 2017
Messi’s two goals saw him move three clear of Luis Suarez in the race for La Pichichi – the award for La Liga’s top goalscorer.
It means the Argentine has now scored 27 goals in 26 matches in the league and certainly shows no signs of slowing down despite him about to enter his thirties.
But Messi will need to continue his incredible form if Barca are to win the league this season.
Also, he will need to produce some more world-class performances if Barcelona are to win the Champions League as well. Messi and co. face Juventus in the quarter-finals and, with Madrid and Bayern Munich still in the competition, they will have to beat the best to be the best.