"It's a genius when it comes to free kicks," Messi notes a striking back as Barca thrash Espanyol 4-0

Lionel Messi scored two spectacular free kicks, as Barcelona lost 4-0 Espanyol's local opponents to Saturday's Catalan double to move three points to the top of La Liga.

The champions, who started the game with Sevilla and Atletico Madrid at 28 points, wiped out the win at Cornelius, as Messi put on a superb show in the week that captured the fifth best player in the world at the Ballon awards, Or Monday.

Argentina kicked a free kick in the top right corner in the 17th minute before Ousmane Dembele's flawless creation to double the lead in Barcelona.

"It's a genus when it comes to free kicks," cried the commentator when Messi took his first goal 30 minutes away from the goal.

Watch all Espanyol goals 0-4 Barcelona here:

Luis Suarez added the third shortly before half-time with a shot from a tight corner deflected by goalkeeper Diego Lopez.

Messi completed the course with another special free kick in the 65th minute, and VAR blocked a consolation from Oscar Duarte for the offside on the other end.

The fourth consecutive defeat of Espanyol lost the ninth place in the standings, but had no chance with Messi in this mood.

"We know how Leo is, he does not need to show us anything, we do not agree with Ballon d 'Or," said Barca midfielder Ivan Rakitic.

"We had a great game, a derby is always hard and we deserved the four goals."

Messi assassinated Espanyol's defense and created several openings for his teammates, while Suarez knocked his way out of a pleasant passage.

Dembele also impressed, starting on the left in front of Philippe Coutinho as a reward for the recent improvement in his form.

Together with Suarez, who caused havoc with his job and grit, the trio was just too hot to handle Espanyol.