Messi scores twice to rally Barcelona
Lionel Messi scored two goals and set up another to lead Barcelona to a 4-1 win at Sevilla on Sunday, moving the defending champions back to the top of the table -- though there is a three-way tie on 57 points in La Liga with Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.
Sevilla dominated the first half hour on the Sanchez Pizjuan's waterlogged pitch and went ahead through Alberto Moreno's 15th-minute goal.
But as the rain showers turned into a downpour, Messi supplied a free kick for Alexis Sanchez to equalise in the 34th minute before the Argentina forward blasted in his first goal in open league play since Sept. 28, before his long injury layoff.
Messi had been kept quiet until he broke loose in midfield and passed wide for Pedro, who returned the ball for the Argentine to strike a left-footed shot into far corner the net.
Messi stepped up once more to score from Andres Iniesta's pass in the 56th minute. Messi controlled Iniesta's crisp pass with one touch while at full trot and unleashed another left-footed effort that skipped off the soggy turf before bouncing in off the post.
Substitute Cesc Fabregas scored from close range after Alexis provided the pass, with Sevilla's defense in tatters.
Earlier, Osasuna beat Getafe 2-0 at home to move four points clear of the relegation zone. Osasuna's Oriol Riera opened the scoring in the sixth minute when Francisco Silva spotted his run behind Getafe's disjointed defence with a long pass that the striker expertly used one touch to lift over goalkeeper Miguel Moya.
Roberto Torres capped the win in Pamplona on the break with two minutes to play.
Substitute Humberto Osorio scored twice as Real Valladolid came from two goals down to draw 2-2 with Elche.
Elche went ahead through goals by Coro in the 34th minute and Manuel del Moral in the 66th. Valladolid coach Juan Ignacio Martinez sent on Osorio in the 69th minute and the forward responded by scoring in the 71st and 78th minutes.
Valladolid's comeback was undermined when newcomer Jeffren Suarez, recently arrived from Sporting Lisbon, was injured with 10 minutes to play and his team had no substitutions to make. The draw left Valladolid in the drop zone, three points from safety.
Real Sociedad were held 0-0 at their Anoeta Stadium by Levante and the inspired form of goalkeeper Keylor Navas.
Navas denied Sociedad forwards Imanol Agirretxe and Antoine Griezmann on two occasions each in the first half before stretching to palm Gonzalo Castro's shot over his bar in the 69th minute.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.