Real Madrid maintain lead atop La Liga; Messi double as Barca cruise

Real Madrid maintained their lead atop La Liga with a thrilling 4-2 victory at Leganes on Wednesday.

Alvaro Morata scored a first-half brace and James Rodriguez added another goal to give the visitors a 3-0 lead after 23 minutes.

But Leganes stormed back through strikes from Gabriel and Luciano within two minutes of each other to cut into Los Blancos' lead before the break.

The half-time interval gave Madrid the chance to recover from the double blow, although their fourth goal early in the second half was something of a gift.

A free kick from the left of the area found the head of Morata but it was Martin Mantovani's hand which eventually sent the ball over the line though Morata was awarded the hat trick.

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona produced a scintillating first-half display in their 3-0 win against Sevilla.

Messi bagged a brace after Luis Suarez's overhead kick had given the hosts a 25th-minute lead.

Luis Enrique's side coasted through the second period to record a ninth win in 10 league matches while the visitors had Vitolo sent off in stoppage time.

Sevilla coach Jorge Sampaoli is among those tipped to succeed the outgoing Enrique at the Nou Camp next season, but his side fell apart after Suarez broke the deadlock and saw their winless league run extend to five games.

Elsewhere, bottom-of-the-table Osasuna earned their second win of the season with a 1-0 defeat of Alaves.

Sporting Gijon, entrenched in of of the relegation places, fell 1-0 to Malaga, while Deportivo La Coruna and Granada played to a 0-0 draw.