Messi scores twice in Barca 5-0 victory against Alavés

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona closed out its Spanish league campaign with a 5-0 rout at Alavés on Sunday.

Barcelona’s Nelson Semedo, center, celebrates with his teammates Lionel Messi, left, and Luis Suarez, his goal against Alaves in Vitoria, northern Spain, Sunday, July 19, 2020.
(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

The goals moved Messi closer to becoming the first player to finish as the league’s top scorer in seven different seasons. He has 25 goals, four more than striker Karim Benzema for champion Real Madrid, which visits relegation-threatened Leganés later Sunday.

Ansu Fati, Luis Suárez and Nelson Semedo also scored for Barcelona, which had already secured second place behind Madrid.

Barcelona’s Lionel Messi, left, celebrates his goal with his teammates against Alaves during the Spanish La Liga match at Mendizorroza stadium, in Vitoria, northern Spain.
(AP Photo/Alvaro Barrientos)

Fati opened the scoring in the 24th minute, Messi added to the lead 10 minutes later and Suárez closed the first-half scoring in the 44th. Semedo got on the board in the 57th and Messi in the 75th to help Barcelona rebound from a 2-1 home loss to Osasuna.

“Today things were different,” Messi said. “The team showed better attitude and commitment. It was an important step forward for us ahead of what’s left in the season.”

Barcelona now turns its focus to its August 8 home game against Napoli in the round of 16 of the Champions League.