The Argentine maestro provided two assists as goals from Luiz Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, and Ansu Fati eased Barcelona to a 4-1 victory over Villarreal at the Estadio de la Ceramica on Sunday.
Nigeria’s Samuel Chukwueze was handed his 33rd appearance of the season, but he was at the receiving end of a thrashing as the Catalans ran riot.
A Pau Torres’s own goal gave Barca a third-minute lead, but Gerard Moreno equalised for the hosts ten minutes later after great work from Santi Cazorla.
However, two fantastic Messi assists allowed Suarez and Griezmann to restore and extend the visitor’s lead before youngster Fati sealed the win late on.
With the win, Barcelona remain four points behind leaders Real Madrid with four La Liga games left this campaign.
Villarreal, however, lost the chance to close the gap on fourth-placed Sevilla with their Champions League hopes slipping away from them.
In the Serie A, Super Eagles defender William Troost-Ekong and his Udinese teammates threw away a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to Genoa.
The hosts ran to a two-goal lead at the Dacia Arena – Stadio Friuli, thanks to goals from Seko Fofana and Kevin Lasagna, but when it appears that all three points were in the bag, Genoa struck two late goals to share the points at stake.
There are eight rounds of matches left in the Italian top flight with Udinese sitting just seven points above the relegation zone.