Messi scored a brace against Elche to help Barcelona get back to the winning ways
The Argentine has moved ahead of Atletico striker and his friend Luis Suarez in the La Liga scoring charts with 18 goals this season.
It was a rather insipid first half as Barcelona hardly created any chances bar Francisco Trincao’s strike inside the penalty box, which was eventually thwarted.
Things changed completely when Barca took the lead through the goal from Messi inside the first three minutes of the second period.
Messi doubled the lead when Frenkie de Jong made a daunting run before laying off to the Argentine, who calmly chipped the ball into the nets.
It didn’t take long for Barca to get their third of the game as left-back Jordi Alba netted the ball from Martin Braithwaite’s header, which was a result of Messi’s diagonal ball.
Barca grabbed home three points after an impressive second-half display and they are now back in the race for the La Liga title.
Last week, they suffered a shocking draw against Cadiz, which added insult to the crumbling defeat against PSG days earlier.
Barca manager Ronald Koeman would cite this victory as a confidence booster ahead of heavyweight clashes against Sevilla and PSG in the return leg. The Blaugrana had been on the receiving end with the games played against Sevilla throughout this season and they will look to end the patch this time around.