Lionel Messi scores 50th career hat-trick as Barcelona win at Sevilla

Barcelona's Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde gestures during their Uefa Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Lyon

Messi then chipped Tomas Vaclik for his third, his 36th goal in 35 games against Sevilla, before setting up Luis Suarez for an injury-time fourth.

Barcelona were lively following the restart and managed to find an equaliser through Messi, who produced a sumptuously-placed finish into the top corner on 67 minutes for his second goal of the game.

Half time and Sevilla went into the break with a 2-1 lead but knew one-goal was not enough to relax against the Catalan giants.

La Liga leaders Barca had scored once in their last two games before putting four past Sevilla, and Pique praised their return to form.

Messi cancelled out Navas' 22nd-minute opener four minutes later with an exquisite volley, as the Argentine blasted Ivan Rakitic's cross into the top corner of the net.

After taking his league-leading tally to 25 goals, Messi added an assist for Luis Suarez to round off the win before the whistle.

Five minutes from time Messi then netted the 650th goal of his career, delightfully chipping the ball over Vaclik after a shot from Carles Alena had been blocked.

The hat-trick means that Messi is now only one treble away from equaling on-field rival Cristiano Ronaldo's hat-trick record. While Messi scored on nine successive appearances from December 16 to February 2, he has netted only once since then. A setback in Seville would have given Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid the chance to spark up the title race when they play on Sunday.

Barca now face back-to-back trips to arch-rivals Real Madrid, with a Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday followed by a league visit back at the Santiago Bernabeu next Saturday. "We played a great match". "Today we were ourselves again and we played a great game".

Sevilla fell to fifth place as Getafe jumped up into the Champions League spots after they accounted for Rayo Vallecano 2-1. His display against Lyon was abysmal, but Valverde opted to keep faith in him as Kevin-Prince Boateng didn't even make the matchday squad.

Suarez, 32, has come in for criticism following a poor display in Barca's 0-0 draw at Olympique Lyonnais in the Champions League.

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