Thursday, 18 April, 2019

Messi nets 50th hat-trick as Barcelona snatch win at Sevilla

Barcelona's Spanish coach Ernesto Valverde gestures during their Uefa Champions League round of 16 first leg match against Lyon LaLiga match report Sevilla v FC Barcelona 23 February 2019
Jennie Wade | 24 February, 2019, 19:58

The goals were Messi's 34th, 35th and 36th in 35 career games against Sevilla, the La Liga team Messi has tortured the most since his 2004 debut. The game was put beyond the sight of Sevilla after Luis Suarez's goal in the injury time.

With the goals against Sevilla, the 31-year-old also extended his lead at the top of the European Golden Shoe race, with 25 goals to his name so far.

In all competitions, he has 33 goals in 32 games - including six in the Champions League as Barcelona chase the treble.

Then, three minutes to half time Barca defence went to sleep as Pablo Sarabia delivered a low cross to Gabriel Mercado who finished in style to restore Sevilla's lead back to 2-1.

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.

The Argentine then produced a lovely dinked finish five minutes from full time to seal his hat-trick, while Luis Suarez added his name to the score sheet with a chipped effort of his own, assisted by Messi, to add some gloss to the full-time scoreline.

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He levelled for a second time with a curling shot from the edge of the box.

The first half saw the Blaugrana trailing behind 2-1 to the hosts but swift Messi heroics after the break helped the league table-toppers secure the win.

Messi sunk his 50th career hat-trick, compare that to the most hat-tricks in the Premier League where Alan Shearer and Sergio Aguero are tied with 11. "Suarez guarantees us chances in every game, it's hard to let go of him", Valverde added. But today we played better.

La Liga leaders Barca, who have a seven-point advantage over second-placed Atletico Madrid and nine over Real, visit fourth-placed Sevilla on Saturday before back-to-back meetings at the Santiago Bernabeu, in a Copa del Rey semi-final second leg on Wednesday before a league meeting three days later.

Defender Samuel Umtiti played his first match for Barcelona after being sidelined since late November with a left knee problem that has plagued him since helping France win the 2018 World Cup.

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