Barcelona moved closer to their fifth La Liga title in seven years but Real Madrid trail them by only two points with three games left.
Luis Suarez’s hat-trick fired Barcelona to an 8-0 rout of Cordoba and Cristiano Ronaldo hit a record-breaking 25th La Liga treble as Real Madrid beat Sevilla 3-2 on Saturday.
Barca moved closer to their fifth La Liga title in seven years but Real trail them by only two points with three games left.
Champions Atletico Madrid were held to a 0-0 draw by Athletic Bilbao but remained in the driving seat for third place with a seven-point lead over Valencia who play Eibar on Sunday.
Suarez’s prolific form has brought the Uruguayan 17 goals from his last 16 games while Messi has 40 goals — two less than top scorer Ronaldo.
Ronaldo now has the highest number of hat-tricks in La Liga history, one more than Messi.
He headed home an Isco cross after 36 minutes and Javier Hernandez flicked on a James Rodriguez cross to the Portuguese who beat keeper Sergio Rico from six yards.
Substitute Gareth Bale crossed for a fine header by Ronaldo to complete his hat-trick and condemn Sevilla to their first home defeat in 35 matches in all competitions.
“Cris is a really positive player that lives for scoring goals and is really frustrated when he doesn’t,” Real defender Sergio Ramos told reporters.
“He is almost unstoppable and hopefully he will go on a good scoring run now. We got the three points which means that Barca need to keep winning.”
Ivan Rakitic volleyed into the roof of the net to give Barca the lead after 42 minutes at Cordoba and Suarez slotted home in first-half stoppage time.
Messi headed in and Suarez and Gerard Pique added headed goals as Barcelona hit their stride.
Messi scored into an open net and Neymar converted a penalty after he was brought down by defender Adrian Gunino.
Barca showed no mercy as Suarez stuck again to seal a resounding win.
“Football is a very complex sport. We are on the right road but you have to start again before each game and look to create the play in order to get the results,” Barca coach Luis Enrique told reporters.
“The goals from Ivan and Luis have got us going and then in the second half we were very effective in front of goal.
Sevilla started well against Real and caused problems down the wings with Jose Antonio Reyes a particular threat.
The Andalusian side went down to 10 men when Ronaldo pounced for his first two goals as Grzegorz Krychowiak was on the sidelines after a clash of heads with Ramos.
Sevilla fought back and Carlos Bacca scored a penalty after Ramos felled Aleix Vidal.
After Ronaldo added his third Vicente Iborra scored from a Vidal cross but Real hung on for the victory.