MADRID (AP) -- Lionel Messi scored in his sixth straight game, raising his season total to 51 goals as Barcelona won 2-0 at Sevilla on Saturday night.
Xavi Hernandez curled home a free kick in the 18th minute and Messi took a pass from Andres Iniesta eight minutes later, slipped the ball through Emir Spahic's legs and chipping over goalkeeper Andres Palop.
Messi scored his 31st league goal this season, one behind Cristiano Ronaldo's league-leading total, and the 150th league goal of his career. With 14 goals in his last six games, Messi needs four to tie Cesar Rodriguez's Barcelona career record of 235.
Barcelona (19-2-6) closed with seven points of Real Madrid (23-2-1), which hosts fourth-place Malaga on Sunday.