La Liga Wrap: Barcelona back to the top, Levante draw at Real Sociedad
Barcelona moved back to the top of La Liga by beating Sevilla 4-1, while Levante dented Real Sociedad's top-four hopes in a 0-0 draw.
Thanks to Almeria's 2-0 win over Atletico Madrid on Saturday, Barcelona went into their game on Sunday knowing victory would secure a return to the summit, and the reigning champions rode their luck to claim three points.
Sevilla deservedly took the lead in the 15th minute as Marc Bartra deflected an Alberto Moreno shot past Victor Valdes.
Carlos Bacca hit the post with a header and Ivan Rakitic missed the target following a counter-attack as Sevilla continued to impress, but Barcelona soon punished their opponents' wastefulness.
Alexis Sanchez grabbed a controversial equaliser, heading home a free-kick with the back of his head from what appeared to be an offside position, and Lionel Messi put the visitors ahead just before half-time.
Sevilla continued to spurn chances and were ultimately well beaten as Messi and substitute Cesc Fabregas added further goals to give Barca a somewhat flattering margin of victory.
Real Sociedad's bid to finish in the top four for a second consecutive season was harmed as 10th-placed Levante held firm in San Sebastian.
The hosts dominated much of the match, but found Levante goalkeeper Keylor Navas in inspired form.
Costa Rica international Navas has put in eye-catching performances against both Barcelona and Sevilla recently. On Sunday, he continually kept Carlos Vela at bay to earn his side a point.
Osasuna's survival chances received another boost courtesy of a 2-0 win over Getafe at El Sadar, taking them level on 25 points with their visitors.
Oriol Riera got the hosts off to a flier as he netted in the sixth minute and a clinching second goal arrived with two minutes remaining when Roberto Torres found the net.
A second-half double from Humberto Osorio salvaged a point for Real Valladolid at home to Elche, but the former remain three points from safety.
Coro got the game's first goal just after the half-hour mark and Manu del Moral seemed to have secured three points for Elche in the 66th minute.
However, Colombian Osorio had other things in mind as he scored twice in the final 19 minutes to earn Valladolid a point.