Lionel Messi Barcelona
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Levante in their La Liga gameReuters

While Cristiano Ronaldo could not get on the scoresheet this weekend, his rival Lionel Messi did, scoring two goals to help Barcelona to a 4-1 victory over Levante in La Liga.

The victory meant Barcelona climbed back to the top of the table, while maintaining their perfect start to the campaign with four wins in four matches.

It took Barca 50 minutes to find the opener, and no prizes for guessing it was thanks to Messi. The Argentina superstar fired in a cross for Marc Bartra, who controlled the ball before finding the back of the net.

Neymar then made it 2-0 soon after, before a Messi penalty – the Argentine would miss a spotkick as well later in the game -- and another strike late in the game put the game beyond doubt, even if Victor Casadesus had given Levante a brief glimmer of hope in between those Messi goals.

"I am very satisfied with the game and to see that we have a lot of resources," said Barcelona manager Luis Enrique, who was forced to deploy the likes of Bartra, Munnir El Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez, owing to an injury crisis.

"We knew they would play with five midfielders and four on defence, and that it would be tough to hurt them."

Barcelona now have 12 points from four matches, with Real Madrid in second, two points behind their rivals. The 2014 champions – Atletico Madrid -- are a further point behind, but lie only fifth, with Villarreal and Celta Vigo also on ten points from four games.

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