Lionel Messi scored the 50th hat-trick of his career as Barcelona came from behind on two separate occasions to record a 4-2 win over Sevilla in Saturday afternoon’s pulsating La Liga contest at the Estadio Ramon.
Messi netted in the 26th and 67th minute respectively to level the scores, before coming up with the game’s fifth goal five minutes from time to cap what was another extraordinary performance from the Argentina international.
The Spanish champions were not finished, though, and made it four in the final seconds when Luis Suarez expertly looped the ball over the onrushing Tomas Vaclik.
Messi has now scored 23 goals in his last 21 appearances against Sevilla in all competitions. As those around him failed to fire, he was once again the difference between a draw and a victory.
The result has seen Barcelona move 10 points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid at the top of the table, while Sevilla remain in fifth spot.
Next up for Barcelona is a trip to Real Madrid for the second leg of their Copa del Rey semi-final on Wednesday night, while Sevilla will attempt to return to winning ways when they travel to Huesca in the league next weekend.