Messi threatened in the second half of the lost time when landing threatened Mallorca – with his right foot, not the left’s favorite – and meant that Argentine had become the first player to score at least 20 goals in 12 consecutive Liga season.
He also assisted in a 4-0 win that made Barcelona move five points behind arch-rivals Real Madrid.
However, that did not prevent a man in Argentine Messi shirt from reaching the stadium on Saturday in an attempt to take a photo with the six-time winner of the Golden Ball. He was intercepted by security and escorted.
Arturo Vidal opened the scoring for Barcelona in the second minute after turning the perfect cross of Jordi Alba and putting Messi through Alba in the 79th minute.
Another Barcelona goal came from Martin Braithwaite, who was signed as an emergency striker from humble Leganes in February after long-term injuries to Osman Dembele and Luis Suarez – who returned on Saturday and assisted in Messi’s efforts.
Prattwight caught the ball in the penalty area and dished his shot into the net ceiling in the 37th minute for his first goal in Barcelona.
“I have been waiting for this for a long time,” Braithwaite told Barcelona TV. “It is amazing to score my first goal and most importantly it was really important to get started as we did today.
“I worked a lot in this half and I look forward to playing this game and I hope to get a goal. I’m happy, really happy.”
Barcelona host Leganes’ second game on Tuesday before a seemingly tougher test in third place Seville on Friday.
“It is true that we should improve, but I am really happy with the team’s performance after such a long time,” said Barcelona manager Koike Citian who replaced Ernesto Valverde in January.
Real Madrid hosts another team at risk of relegation, Eibar, on Sunday.