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Messi and Suárez were among the goals once again | MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

With a performance as slick as the Camp Nou surface, FC Barcelona swept Sevilla aside on Wednesday night, thanks to three goals in eight first half minutes (3-0).

Leo Messi sent an early warning sign of things to come just three minutes in, as he thundered an effort onto the woodwork, before Iniesta drilled a left-footed shot on goal.

Sevilla came back with a couple of chances of their own, first when Steven N’Zonzi beat Javier Mascherano to the ball only to be denied by the well-positioned Marc-André ter Stegen, and an unmarked header from Vitolo which sailed over the bar.

Floodgates open

But very much like the rain, the goals came in a quick downpour midway through the first half. The opener came in spectacular fashion, as an attempted clearance from the Sevilla defence sat up for Suárez to score with an expertly executed over-head kick from close range.

Minutes later, Ivan Rakitic led a rapid counter-attack, laying the ball out to Neymar Jr who then skinned his man before and played a pass across goal. With the angle too tight for Luis Suárez to have a go himself, he cut the ball back to Messi who drilled it under the keeper for 2-0.

And the third goal in nine minutes arrived courtesy of the feet of Messi again. A looping header in an attempt to clear a Barça corner fell to Messi who smashed home on the volley.

Ter Stegen holds firm

Ter Stegen helped deny any hope of a comeback with a smart stop on the hour-mark after a rasping drive from Vitolo. That was followed some minutes later with another excellent save from a Pablo Sarabia thunderbolt.

There was a chance for Barça to put gloss on the scoreline when Messi played an eye-of-the-needle pass through to Andrés Iniesta, but the captain slipped at the vital moment. Then, a similarly perfect pass from Iniesta played Paco Alcácer in on goal but his effort was smothered by Sergio Rico.

A late second yellow for Vitolo for a harsh challenge on Neymar saw the Spaniard given his marching orders, and the Brazilian almost had the final say with a long-range hit but Rico denied.

The points put Barça momentarily top of the league with Real Madrid set to play Leganés immediately after.

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