Lionel Messi scores 50th career hat-trick as Barcelona win at Sevilla

Valverde defendió a Luis Suárez de las críticas

Valverde defendió a Luis Suárez de las críticas

During his career Messi has scored 29 league goals against Sevilla and in total 36 goals in 35 matches against the fellow top-flight club in all competitions.

Messi leads the statistics for Europe's five majopr league, with 25 goals and 11 assists so far this season. But, it was cancelled out by Lionel Messi's thunderous volley within four minutes to equalize the score.

It was the 32nd hat-trick of Messi's La Liga career, while he has notched eight in the Champions League, three in the Copa del Rey, one in the Spanish Super Cup and six in global competition with Argentina.

Barca continued to struggle against the Sevilla press and they found themselves behind again before the break. Ernesto Valverde was forced to make half time changes bringing in Sergie Roberto and Ousmane Dembele who quickly turned the game to Blaugrana's favour.

Midway through the half Messi equalised for the second time, curling home a superb strike past goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik, whose poor kick to Dembele allowed the former Spurs star to tee up his mercurial team-mate.

With only five minutes of normal time left, Messi clipped the ball over Vaclik to put Barca ahead after Carles Alena's shot deflected into his path, and he sent Suarez through to lob the keeper in style and seal the win in injury-time.

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Meantime, Barcelona will now turn its attention to the second leg of their Copa del Rey semifinal on Wednesday against Real at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu.

Such was the case on Saturday, when Messi's 50th career hat trick gave La Liga-leading Barcelona a crucial 4-2, comeback win away to Sevilla.

"Lionel not only scored three goals, but you have to see where, when and how he gets them", Valverde told reporters.

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

That put Getafe two points clear of Sevilla and Alaves, with the latter having been held to a goalless draw by Celta Vigo, who edged two points clear of the drop zone. Over the last few seasons, it's a challenge to find a handful that are better.

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