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Messi takes Barca back to the top

ESPN staff
February 9, 2014 « Heavy winds damage Champions League final stadium | Chartbeat test »
Martino hails Messi

Lionel Messi guided Barcelona back to the top of La Liga after inspiring them to a 4-1 win in the pouring rain at Sevilla.

Barcelona sit in first place by virtue of goal difference, with Real Madrid second and Atletico Madrid third - all three sides have 57 points.

The hosts went in front after 15 minutes with Alberto Moreno's shot deflecting in off Marc Bartra. Sevilla then spurned a host of chances before Alexis Sanchez turned in Messi's chipped free-kick.

Messi then put Barcelona in front just before half-time, smashing in from the edge of the box following a rapid counter attack led by Pedro on the left wing.

Heavy rain saw the game in danger of being called off at the break, but the conditions eased. Barcelona then grabbed their third after 56 minutes when Messi met Andres Iniesta's pass and angled his shot in off the inside of the post.

Substitute Cesc Fabregas then added a fourth late on, latching onto Sanchez's incisive pass and chipping over Sevilla goalkeeper Beto.

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