Barca blitz Sevilla with awesome first-half display

Rodriguez set them on the way to victory with an early goal before Morata scored twice in five minutes to put Real 3-0 up.

Ironically, his final beard-less game had also come against Sevilla, where the first signs of stubble can be seen on the maestro's face as he led Barca to Copa del Rey glory in May 2016.

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Suarez has scored seven goals in his last seven games.

"We were able to generate absolute control in their half, not just in terms of the goals, but speaking about the chances we generated as well".

The Frenchman cursed his side for switching off in the first half and briefly allowing Leganes back into the game. "We arguably even deserved to have a bigger lead". "It's the great thing about football, you never know what's going to happen".

Messi's brace after Luis Suarez's overhead kick helped Barca to their win, but they remain two points behind rivals and league leaders Real Madrid.

Sevilla, who had Vitolo sent off for a second booking in the 90th minute, are fourth on the table with 58 points and are virtually out of contention for the title with eight games remaining.

Messi was banned for his last two outings for club and country but looked rested rather than rusty as he took his tally for the season to 43 goals in 41 games.

"It was the first-half performance we had dreamed of", said Barca coach Luis Enrique.

Lionel Messi's surging run and cross from the right was not dealt with, as Sevilla defender Mariano could only half block, and Suarez reacted quickest to the loose ball in the six-yard box to acrobatically find the net, beating Sevilla stopper Sergio Rico all ends up.

He almost finished his hat-trick at the start of the second half only for Rico to pluck the ball out of the air as the game began to open up.

  • Julie Sanders