Lionel Messi Barcelona star picks up his teammate, Suarez from airport

A surging run from Messi in the 24th minute saw him drill in a low cross for Suarez and when the ball bounced kindly for the Uruguayan, he beat Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico with an overhead kick.

Sevilla was fighting for the league title not long ago, but is now enduring its worst moment of the season.

Messi had scored 27 goals against Sevilla in all competitions, his favourite opponents alongside Atletico Madrid.

Luis Enrique's side coasted through the second period to record a ninth win in 10 La Liga matches while the visitors had Vitolo sent off in stoppage time.

Messi bagged a brace after Luis Suarez's overhead kick had given the hosts a 25th-minute lead.

Fully rested from the global break and a yellow-card suspension, Messi returns for Barcelona's decisive La Liga contest against rival Sevilla on Wednesday.

Real Madrid, which have a game in hand, faces a Leganes squad that has drawn its last three matches and is struggling to avoid returning to the second division next season.

"It'll be a complicated match, at a hard stadium and against an opponent which is doing very well lately", Real head coach Zinedine Zidane said in a release ahead of the match.

"The first half we played at a top level", said Enrique. Barca were also on a 13-game unbeaten run against the Andalusians, who were without a win in five.

"I do not see a lack of freshness, but we could not hit the target once we were in the opposition's half", Sampaoli said after the 0-0 draw with Sporting.

Iniesta's milestone includes friendly appearances and the captain suggested his side are in good shape ahead of decisive matches such as their upcoming Champions League quarter-final against Bayern Munich and a Clasico clash with Real Madrid.

Fully rested after the global break and a yellow-card suspension, Messi returns to Barcelona's team for the decisive Spanish league match against Sevilla on Wednesday.

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. "There's a bit of bitterness for those 20 seconds in Turin, two instances in which we weren't lucky and which changed the situation".

"It is never easy but this section, this month of April where everything is decided we are playing well and that is the important thing", Iniesta said.

  • Julie Sanders