With a hat-trick and an assist to Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi took care of Sevilla FC at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium before facing Real Madrid.
The FC Barcelona supporters were starting to get worried about Lionel Messi not playing his best football in the most crucial week of the season, the Blaugrana paid the first of three very important visits this Saturday and played at Sevilla’s Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium.
The atmosphere was filled with confidence for the local squad, they really felt like they could hurt the Catalan club and take three very valuable points from them but Lionel Messi had a lot to express today against his favorite victim in Spanish football.
The Argentine was playing his 37th match against Sevilla, this match was about to become one of the best performances of the season from him this far and he was going to come back to top form with perfect timing ahead of paying two consecutive visits to the Santiago Bernabeu next week (another one of his favorite playgrounds).
But not everything started well for FC Barcelona, Sevilla did get ahead in the scoreline this afternoon through an initial goal scored by Jesus Navas during a counter-attack in which the former Manchester City player received an assist from Wissam Ben Yedder.
Sevilla had the advantage during the first half, but that’s all the motivation Messi needed to get involved in the game.
🇦🇷 Lionel Messi’s Day:
🎩 Scores his 50th career hattrick.
⚽️ Scores his 650th career goal.
✅ Breaks the La Liga record for the most goals against one team (29 vs Sevilla).
📊 Helps Barcelona go 10 points clear at the top of the table.
🤷♂️ Just another day at the office. pic.twitter.com/XndaSKR8Xy
— SPORF (@Sporf) February 23, 2019
It took Leo four minutes to let everyone know the mood he was in, Ivan Rakitic saw him from the left flank and sent him an elevated cross that the Argentine received with no marker on him.
What happened next was arguably one of the most impressive volleys in the Argentine’s career, with his left foot and straight into the top corner for Barcelona’s equalizer.
This goal marked the end of a small dip in form that Messi went through after that match against Valencia where he got injured, we could see the difference from this player to the one who didn’t feel comfortable in his own skin due to the muscular pains.
Sevilla didn’t give up that easy during the first half, they got a second just a few minutes before half-time through Gabriel Mercado, he received an assist from Sarabia after Pablo managed to reach a ball that would’ve left the pitch if it hadn’t been for his effort.
The Andalusian squad was hopeful that a victory could actually come for them this afternoon, but Messi got really into it right after the 15-minute break and he wanted to end with any hope that Sevilla had to get the result in their favor.
— MESSISTATS (@MessiStats_) February 23, 2019
The reaction from Barcelona and Messi wasn’t as fast as perhaps everyone expected during the second half, it took them a good 22 minutes to get through the Sevilla defense and the goals came from blatant defensive mistakes by the locals while they were trying to get out of their own box.
Messi was there for every single time, his second goal came after Dembele recovered the ball and saw Messi coming in through the middle.
The Argentine scored a cracker with his right foot, shot to the top corner that had a special message to Pele (who criticized Leo for only shooting with his left foot).
After that second Messi goal, it was only a matter of time before Sevilla gave up and gave Barcelona another gift from the defense.
Five minutes before the end, Carles Aleña recovered another ball and took a shot from a distance that the defense tried to block but gave the ball to a lonely Messi instead.
Leo dinked his shot over the goalkeeper and completed another hat-trick, his 50th of a very prolific career for both club and country.
If that wasn’t enough, another defensive mistake gave Messi the chance to set Luis Suarez up for his own goal during the final minutes, this also ended the Uruguay international’s 11-match goal-drought and gave Barcelona three vital points in La Liga.
What a picture 🐐 pic.twitter.com/vFIwVOHvYR
— The Futbol Page (@TheFutbolPage) February 23, 2019
What did you think about Lionel Messi’s performance against Sevilla this Saturday? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.