April 5, 2017 / 7:36 PM / 2 years ago

Soccer: Barca blitz Sevilla with awesome first-half display

Soccer Football - Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish La Liga Santander - Camp Nou stadium, Barcelona, Spain - 5/04/2017. Barcelona's Lionel Messi gestures as he celebrates a goal against Sevilla. REUTERS/Albert Gea

BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona cruised to a 3-0 win over Sevilla with a mesmerizing attacking display on Wednesday, as two goals from Lionel Messi and one from Luis Suarez in the space of eight minutes put them provisionally above Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Barca lead the standings on 69 points although Real Madrid, who have 68 and have played two games fewer, can recover top spot when they visit Leganes later on Wednesday. Sevilla, who had Vitolo sent off for a second booking in the 90th minute, are fourth on 58 points.

Suarez crashed in an emphatic overhead kick in the 25th minute after a surging run by Messi then teed up the Argentine to knock in the second three minutes later.

Messi then produced an instinctive volley for the third Barca goal in the 33rd, piling more pain on a Sevilla side who had serious title ambitions little more than a month ago but have fallen apart in recent weeks and failed to win any of their last six games in all competitions.

The Argentine also rattled the bar from outside the box early in the game and his brace took his tally to 29 goals in 30 games against Sevilla in all competitions. Messi also leads the Liga scoring charts with 27 strikes, while Suarez has 24.

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

“We took the game to them as much as possible, we had more of the ball, we scored three goals and had a lot of chances, which says a lot when you consider the quality of our opponents. Things changed in the second half but everything was under control.”

Reporting by Richard Martin; Editing by Toby Davis

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