Barcelona provisionally jumped to the top of the Spanish La Liga table with an extraordinary 3-0 win against Sevilla at Camp Nou on Thursday.

However, their joy was short lived as arch-rivals Real Madrid got back their lead at the top of the table with a 4-2 win against Leganes despite the absence of stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale.

It was easy as it came for the Spanish giants: Barcelona put the match to bed within the 25 to 35 minute period, scoring all their three goals during the period. Lionel Messi scored a brace to take his goal tally to 27 while Luis Suarez also found the net. Sevilla just could not recover from that onslaught.

Reflecting on that blistering period of play, Blaugrana manager Luis Enrique said, “It was the first-half performance we had dreamed of”.

Real keep pace at the top

While Zinedine Zidane’s side couldn’t exactly replicate what Barca did earlier in the day, they found themselves armed with a three-goal lead by the 23rd minute.

With Bale and Ronaldo missing the contest, it was James Rodriguez who ran the show with some defence-splitting passes. Alvaro Morata, always a threat in the air, scored a pair of goals after Rodriguez netted the opener in the 15th minute of the game.

Just when Real were cruising, Leganes hit back with two quick-fire goals through Gabriel Pires and Luciano, and threatened to launch an extraordinary comeback.

After a first-half that contained five goals, Real, in the second half, showed more steel in defence to hold on to their slender lead. Martin Mantovani’s own goal gave the away team a two-goal cushion. Real lead Barca by two points and have a game in hand.

Brief score:

  • Barcelona 3 (Lionel Messi x 2, Luis Suarez) beat Sevilla 0
  • Leganes 2 (Gabriel Pires, Luciano) lost to Real Madrid 4 (James Rodrigues, Alvaro Morata x 2, Martin Mantovani own goal)