Lionel Messi was in majestic form on Sunday evening and inspired Barcelona to a hard-fought 2-1 victory over high-fliers Sevilla at the Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
The hosts took the lead on the 15th minute through Vitolo, but Messi’s composed finish - his 500th goal for the Catalan giants - on the stroke of half-time levelled the scores.
Luis Suarez then put Barça ahead on the hour-mark following more excellent work from the world-class Argentina international.
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However, Messi was in danger of being sent off during the final 10 minutes of the match for his reaction to receiving a yellow card for time wasting.
Sevilla’s Steven N’Zonzi caught Messi, whose boot came flying off during the incident.
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Video: Messi reacts badly after yellow card for time wasting
Referee Santiago Jaime showed N’Zonzi a yellow card - a decision the French midfielder could have few complaints with - while Messi attempted, at his own speed, to get his boot back on.
He wasn’t quick enough for Jaime, however, and was subsequently booked for deliberately wasting time.
Salt was then rubbed into Messi’s wounds as he was ordered to leave the pitch in order to come back on again after losing his right boot. Rules are rules, even for the world’s best player.
The South American didn’t react well; he threw his boot away in anger, outraged by the events of the previous couple of minutes.
It wasn’t the smartest move by the five-time Ballon d’Or winner, who was somewhat fortunate to avoid a second yellow for dissent.
Enrique: There's nobody like Messi
Luis Enrique didn’t seem too concerned in his post-match press conference, though.
"Leo has the ability to play in any position and interpret any situation," Luis Enrique told reporters, per Goal. "There is nobody like him. We always try to get the best out of Messi.
"Messi's goal got us back in the game and helped us believe in the comeback. Leo was very strong, but so was the rest of the team."
Vitolo: Messi is the best in history
Even the Sevilla players finished the match in awe of Messi.
"Messi was no surprise, he is the best player in history and he knows how to run a game," Vitolo was also quoted as saying by Goal after the final whistle.
Barcelona, thanks to their win in Andalusia, stay second in La Liga, two points behind Real Madrid after 11 matches played.
Did Lionel Messi deserve his yellow card? Should he have seen red for his reaction? Have your say by leaving a comment below.
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