Lionel Messi put in a man-of-the-match performance to help Barcelona return to winning ways after consecutive defeats against Malaga and Juventus as they beat Real Sociedad 3-2 at Camp Nou.
The Argentina international struck twice in the first half to take his tally for the Catalans to 498 goals in all competitions, before an own goal from Samuel Umtiti shortly before the break helped the Basque side back in the game.
Messi then set up Paco Alcacer – who replaced the suspended Neymar – to make it 3-1, with Xabi Prieto quickly responding to make it four goals in the last eight minutes of an enthralling first half.
Sociedad were unable to find a leveller in a much more low-key second half, as Messi’s stellar display made the difference.
Luis Enrique’s men are trailing leaders Real Madrid by three points ahead of next week’s Clasico at the Santiago Bernabeu, while the capital side have a game in hand, too.
Watch Goals And Highlights below