Messi’s Hat-trick Earns Barcelona 4-2 Victory at Sevilla

Elena Summers
February 24, 2019

Barca had twice been behind thanks to goals from Jesus Navas and Gabriel Mercado, but Messi twice brought them back into the contest before wrapping up his treble and then setting up Luis Suarez for a late fourth.

Many on social media have since pointed a striking similarity between the images of Messi celebrating his second goal of the game to that of an iconic photograph of Brazilian great Pele.

It was his 36th goal against Sevilla in 35 matches, and his third hat-trick against the club.

Unfortunately for the visitors, Sevilla responded before the half was over through right back Gabriel Mercado, Messi's teammate with Argentina's national squad, who fired the hosts back in front three minutes before the break.

Five minutes from time Messi then netted the 650th goal of his career, delightfully chipping the ball over Vaclik after a shot from Carles Alena had been blocked.

He is second in the all-time La Liga list behind former Real Madrid star Cristiano Ronaldo, who has 34, but the two are tied on 44 club hat tricks in all competitions.

Sevilla's lead lasted only four minutes, though, with Messi blasting in a fine volley from near the edge of the box after Ivan Rakitic was given time to cross from the left.

"We went through a patch when we weren't playing our best and that makes everything more hard". While Messi scored on nine successive appearances from December 16 to February 2, he has netted only once since then.

"Today, we were ourselves again and we produced a great performance", Messi told reporters. "But when we manage to get the play to flow, things always happen for us".

The defeat is particularly bad news for Sevilla, with Getafe having moved ahead of them into the Champions League places by beating Rayo Vallecano.

Madrid coach Solari said it was "curious" that Barca played Sevilla on Saturday while his side had to wait until Sunday to play Levante, and also pointed out that Barca had had an extra day off before the Copa del Rey semifinal first leg.

Just after the hour mark Messi played in an out-of-form Luis Suarez, and despite a challenge from Kjaer and penalty appeals, referee Antonio Miguel Mateu Lahoz dismissed the claims and opted not to consult VAR.

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