Barcelona boss Luis Enrique delighted with first-half blitz against Sevilla

Lionel Messi will sign his new contract at Barcelona next month, reports Spanish radio show El Larguero. The numbers seem to suggest so!

That double brought him up to 51, a strike-rate of more than a goal a game. "We had two one-on-ones and we couldn't take them", said a frustrated Sampaoli.

Messi has been in sensational form again this season having scored 41 goals and provided 15 assists in 40 appearances in all competitions, and it's clear that he's showing no real signs of decline as of yet.

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Luis Suarez may have stolen all the headlines against Sevilla after that goal but there was another performance at Camp Nou on Wednesday that left Luis Enrique purring.

Suarez has scored seven goals in his last seven games.

Coach Luis Enrique described Suarez as "the best centre forward in the world", adding, "he has that ability to know where the goal is at all times". Without a win in five and eliminated from the Uefa Champions League by Leicester City, the Andalusians were on the back foot from the start as Barca frenetically pressed high in a manner with which Sevilla's coach Jorge Sampaoli would approve.

A blistering eight minute spell midway through the first half blew the visitors away at the Nou Camp as the Catalans kept the pressure on rivals Real Madrid. His league total of 24 goals this season is three less than scoring leader Messi, who got his first of the night in the 28th minute with an easy shot from inside the area after a combination of passes between Neymar and Suarez.

Messi has come close to winning a major tournament in each of the last three summers but Argentina fell short at the 2014 World Cup final in Brazil as well as the last two Copa America finals against Chile on penalties. "We all want to see Messi out on the field and that's what we'll get".

Sevilla s misery was complete when Spanish global Vitolo was sent off in stoppage time for a second yellow card after chopping down Neymar.

Madrid will have to do without Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale after they were rested by Zidane. It is 17th in the 20-team standings, only one spot above the relegation zone.

  • Julie Sanders