Real Madrid produced a ruthless first-half display to thrash already-relegated Granada 4-0 on Saturday and remain on course for a first league title in five years, while Barcelona hammered Villarreal 4-1.
Neymar opened the scoring against a well-organized rival, but Cedric Bakambu equalized after half an hour after getting in behind the Barca defense.
However, the home side restored their lead on the stroke of halftime through Messi, who skipped past two players before slotting past Andres, 2-1.
Messi added a fourth in the 82nd minute with an impudent Panenka penalty.
Messi scored his 50th goal of the season against Villarreal. As a result, they have to win their three remaining matches while hoping Madrid slip up between now and the end of the campaign, reports Xinhua news agency.
However, Real Madrid's easy 4-0 win over Granada cut the gap with Barca still top on head-to-head record, but Real have a game in hand.
Atletico's victory at home over Eibar ensured Diego Simeone's side will finish in the top four places in Spain. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.theeagleonline.com.ng as the source.
However, the diffrence in class in the final third was telling-Neymar, Messi and Suarez all scored, though Messi's two goals came through a deflection and a penalty that never should have been given.
This is the third season in a row the MSN have scored over 100 goals.
Neymar certainly enjoys facing the Yellow Submarines, indeed - that was his ninth goal in nine matches (in all competitions) against Villarreal.
Messi was able to get a shot of his own away shortly before the half-hour mark when he collected Ivan Rakitic's pass and got the ball out of his feet only to drag his effort wide of the far post.
"We know how hard it is to play against Barcelona at the Camp Nou".
Exhausted legs will affect both sides and Real will not find it easy in Galicia - as evidenced by their 2-2 draw there in the Copa del Rey - but Cristiano Ronaldo will come to the fore and help fire the Madrid outfit to a convincing win. They had to wait a mere 13 minutes for their side to take the lead again when Messi ran across the Villarreal box, leaving Rodrigo on the floor, then, with six defenders in front of him, shooting low across the goal.