Lionel Messi could do nothing but watch on as Argentina were thrashed by Spain in midweek but the world’s best player came off the bench to rescue a point against Sevilla on Saturday and preserve Barcelona’s unbeaten La Liga record.
A sub-par Barça performance had seen Sevilla take what looked like an unassailable two-goal lead. Joaquín Correa setting by Franco Vázquez for the opener before Luis Muriel fired a second shortly after half time.
However, Messi, who missed both Argentina friendlies through injury emerged from the bench on the hour mark.
Barcelona were immediately more of a threat and after Luis Suárez volleyed a goal back two minutes from time the stage was set for Messi to arrive on the edge of the box and curl in an 89th minute equaliser.
A 26th league goal of the season for Messi has Barcelona twelve points clear at the top with their treble hopes very much still alive and extends the unbeaten league record to 37 games.
Paris Saint-Germain have their league title all but wrapped up already but on Saturday added the Coupe de la Ligue with a 3-0 victory over Monaco.
Edinson Cavani had already given PSG the lead from the penalty spot when Ángel Di María continued his fine form this season with a low finish past Danijel Subasic after 21 minutes.
Monaco had a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee before the break and Cavani wrapped up the win with a late third as PSG comfortably defeated their closest rivals.
With a fifth consecutive League Cup victory, PSG are on course for a third treble in four seasons.
Another Argentinian enjoying a superb season in France is Lucas Ocampos and the former River Plate forward was on target to hand Marseille victory over Dijon in Ligue 1.
Kwon Changhoon’s equaliser appeared to have denied Marseille victory but Ocampos bundled in an 88th minute goal to restore the lead before Dimitri Payet wrapped up the win in stoppage time.
— La Causerie de L1 Vidéos (@CDL1Videos) March 31, 2018
Roberto Pereyra scored what looked set to be the winner in Watford’s Premier League match with Bournemouth but Jermaine Defoe’s injury time goal denied the Hornets all the points.
And in China, Ezequiel Lavezzi was on target but couldn’t prevent Hebei China Fortune slumping to defeat.
Hebei, with Javier Mascherano also in the starting eleven, actually led twice with Lavezzi rifling in the second but Obafemi Martins equalised for Shanghai Shenhua on each occasion and eventually completed his hat-trick in a 4-2 win.