Barcelona 3-0 Sevilla: Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez goals send Barca to top of LaLiga
Barcelona scored three goals in the space of nine first-half minutes to brush aside Sevilla 3-0 and return to the LaLiga summit for a couple of hours at least.
Lionel Messi bagged a brace after Luis Suarez had opened the scoring as the Catalan giants moved above rivals Real Madrid, who will reclaim top spot if they win at Leganes later on Wednesday night.
Luis Enrique's men were full value for the win against a Sevilla side that were challenging for the title until a recent slump in results, with a defeat at the Nou Camp meaning they have collected only three points from their last five games.
They could have been behind inside the opening five minutes but Messi's first-time strike from just outside the area came back off the underside of the bar.
Barca did go ahead in the 25th minute when Suarez reacted quickest to a loose ball in the six-yard box to acrobatically find the net.
Three minutes later Messi finished off a rapid break to make it 2-0. Ivan Rakitic released Neymar down the left and, after his cross came to Suarez at the back post, the former Liverpool man squared for Messi to slot home from six yards.
The game was as good as over in the 33rd minute when Messi scored his second of the evening and 43rd of the campaign. A poor header by Nicolas Pareja dropped perfectly for the Argentinian, who volleyed past a helpless Sergio Rico from 12 yards.
There proved to be no way back for Sevilla and their evening was compounded by the late dismissal of Vitolo, who was given his marching orders in added time after picking up a second caution.
Osasuna boosted their improbable survival hopes by winning for the only the second time this season - and first since last October - by edging to a 1-0 victory at Alaves.
Petar Vasiljevic claimed his first three-point haul since taking charge of Osasuna in January courtesy of substitute Alex Berenguer's strike with two minutes remaining.
Osasuna had entered the fixture having not won in 21 league attempts and while they remain marooned at the foot of the table and 13 points adrift of safety, they have given themselves a slim chance.
Sporting Gijon missed the chance to close ground on Leganes after losing 1-0 at home to Malaga, who were grateful for Sandro Ramirez's 40th-minute goal.
Celso Borges missed a penalty 13 minutes from time as Deportivo La Coruna settled for a goalless draw with Granada.
Belfast Telegraph Digital