Luis Suarez ended his long wait for a first goal in La Liga by scoring in Barcelona's 5-0 romp against Cordoba.
The Uruguayan moved to the Nou Camp for £75million from Liverpool in the summer but had not scored in his previous seven matches in the Spanish top flight, though he has scored two goals in three Champions League matches after missing the opening months of the season while serving his ban.
Pedro opened thee scoring after just two minutes and it was the Spanish winger who laid the ball on for Suarez to score seven minutes after the break.
Gerard Pique headed in Barcelona's third with 10 minutes to go before Messi struck his 14th and 15th league goals of the season with time running out.
Barcelona climbed to within one point of Real Madrid, who are currently in action in the Club World Cup in Morocco.
Cordoba offered little resistance as the strugglers remained in 19th place. Elche can push Cordoba to the foot of the standings with a win at home over Malaga on Sunday.
Pedro's early goal, a flicked finish past Juan Carlos Martin after an Ivan Rakitic through-ball, eliminated any hope the visitors might have had for an upset.
The home crowd didn't come alive until Suarez poked Pedro's pass under Martin.
Pique headed in Xavi free-kick and, two minutes later, Messi was kept in check until a poorly defended corner fell for him to fire in. He followed that with a better goal in stoppage time when he spun and slotted the ball just inside the post.
Those were Messi's 22nd and 23rd goals through 22 games in all competitions.
Additional reporting from APReuse content