Skip to main content

Lionel Messi double puts Barcelona top in three-way La Liga title race

February 9, 2014 -- Updated 2246 GMT (0646 HKT)
A soaked but happy Lionel Messi after scoring one of his two goals in Barcelona's 4-1 victory at Sevilla.
A soaked but happy Lionel Messi after scoring one of his two goals in Barcelona's 4-1 victory at Sevilla.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona beat Sevilla 4-1 in La Liga
  • Two goals from Lionel Messi
  • Barcelona top on goal difference from Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid
  • Juventus held 2-2 at Verona but maintain nine point lead in Serie A

(CNN) -- Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona went back to the top of La Liga in a three-way title race with a 4-1 victory at Sevilla Sunday.

The win drew them level on points with Real Madrid and Atletico, but at the summit because of a superior goal difference.

The margin of victory in atrocious and wet conditions would have also helped the defending champion's cause but they had to come from behind to secure the win.

Alberto Moreno had put the hosts into an early 15th minute lead as his low strike deflected past Victor Valdes.

More might have followed as Carlos Bacca hit the post with a header but Barca were level as Messi's free kick found Alexis Sanchez, who appeared to be in an offside position before scoring.

Messi, returning to his best after his injury layoff, put the Catalans ahead before the break with a superb half-volley.

He hit the third early in the second half and Cesc Fabregas rounded off the scoring to make the three points safe.

Read: Real go top after Atletico slip to defeat

With 15 rounds remaining of the tightest Spanish title race in years, all three teams at the top have 57 points.

All three are also still involved in the Champions League at the last 16 knockout stage as the season on a domestic and European level moves to an exciting climax.

In Italy's Serie A, defending champions Juventus maintained a nine-point advantage over Roma at the top despite being held to a 2-2 draw at Verona.

Argentina star Carlos Tevez put Juve two up inside 21 minutes, but second half goals from Luca Toni and substitute Juan Gomez in stoppage time, salvaged a point for the home side.

Roma were held to a goalless draw by Lazio and failed to make up ground.

Meanwhile in France's Ligue 1, champions Paris Saint German played out a 1-1 draw with nearest title rivals Monaco.

An own goal from PSG captain Thiago Silva cost them three points after Javier Pastore put them ahead after eight minutes.

But they still lead big-spending Monaco by five points with 14 rounds remaining.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT