MADRID (AFP) - Lionel Messi stole the show with two free-kick objectives in a rankling show as Barcelona kept up their lead at the highest point of LaLiga with a pounding 4-0 derby prevail upon Catalan adversaries Espanyol. 

The Argentine hotshot twisted home two electrifying set-pieces and set up another objective as he and his colleagues cavorted to triumph at the RCDE Stadium and ensured Barca continued pursuing Atletico Madrid and Sevilla under control. 

Atletico and Sevilla had moved dimension on 28 with Barca on Saturday (Dec 8) after Diego Simeone's side vanquished Alaves 3-0 and the Andalusians drew 1-1 at Valencia. 

In any case, Messi ensured that Ernesto Valverde's group kept their place at the highest point of the heap with an entrancing showcase nearby front-three accomplices Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele that left Espanyol dead and covered significantly time. 

"He is uncommon," said Valverde. "The free kicks, the odds on objective that he makes, what he brings us and what he take from the rival... 

"It is still early, La Liga is tight, however the thought is to be strong far from home, realizing that triumphant is exceptionally troublesome against each group." 

Messi started the defeat in the seventeenth moment with a consummately set free kick that curved past a urgent Diego Lopez, and pursued that up by holding ownership under extraordinary weight before giving the go to Dembele from which the French aggressor nestled into fine second. 

It was then Dembele's swing to wind up supplier a moment before the break, slipping in a too through ball that Suarez some way or another went up against and crushed home from close to the byeline. 

Messi topped a predominant group and individual showcase with his second free kick of the night, which this time whipped past Lopez with such venom the Spanish goalkeeper could scarcely move towards it. 

Nikola Kalinic opened his class represent Atletico Madrid with the opener against Alaves prior on Saturday, before Antoine Griezmann and midfielder Rodri fixed every one of the three at the Wanda Metropolitano with objectives in the last 10 minutes. 

The main negative note for Atletico mentor Simeone was World Cup victor Lucas Hernandez leaving the field with knee damage in the principal half. 

Mouctar Diakhaby's header in second-half stoppage time for Valencia implied Sevilla botched the chance to remain only a point behind Barca. 

Pablo Sarabia had put the guests into the lead nine minutes into the second half and Sevilla had opportunities to seal the focuses at the Mestalla with Ever Banega and Andre Silva hitting the post.
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