Lionel Messi had the heart of Barcelona in the mouth at the Camp Nou when he writhed in pain after falling badly in his right arm. He was substituted but had been generous enough to win the game for his team before leaving.
The top scorer of the club only had 12 touches before his injury, but converted the second goal of the victory 4-2 of the long pass of Luis Suárez, after having made the first with the assistance he sent to Philippe Coutinho to score.
Then came the inoffensive clash with Franco Vazquez and five strange minutes since Messi seemed to be much more worried about his injury than the Barcelona bench.
Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring with just two minutes left on the clock with an excellent curling effort inside the box
Lionel Messi scored an excellent solo effort shortly after, cuddling with his left foot to double the home team's advantage.
But the night of the Argentine star was interrupted after it fell awkwardly on his right arm and seemed to suffer a serious injury.
Luis Suárez skillfully defeated Sevilla goalkeeper Tomas Vaclik and took him to win a penalty after the break.
The forward sent the kick to the point, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way, and then jumped for joy in the celebration.
Ousmane Dembele, who finally replaced him, took an age to warm up. But with Messi with some discomfort, he soon bandaged heavy bandages around his elbow. And with his name echoing around the stadium, he disappeared down the tunnel holding his arm.
He was taken to the clinic inside Joan Gamper's training facility in Barcelona with the club's hope that the injury was no more than a "hyperexpansion" around his right elbow. A dislocated elbow or damaged ligaments would keep him out for much longer and with Barcelona facing Real Madrid next Sunday, it would be disastrous.
The start for Sevilla had been terrible. They had their pregame meeting, and two minutes later they were restarting the game after Coutinho's goal.
Ivan Rakitic raises his hands after scoring against his former club Sevilla, who made the score 4-1 to Barcelona
Nelson Semedo started the movement going to Vazquez. He played in the box Luis Suarez, who gave a blow to Messi, who passed the ball to Coutinho, who scored. It was a brilliant move and one more proof of Coutinho's ability to occasionally do for Barcelona what Neymar used to do.
Sevilla responded well and Guilherme Arana reached the post, but Barcelona soon threatened to score a second with the Messi pass that sent Jordi Alba to fly to the left. He returned the pass to Messi that hit the side net. Messi's next opportunity ended on the right side of the side net.
Suarez has been fighting for goals this season, but his ability to find Messi with perfectly weighted passes remains unsurpassed. He played against Messi and, from inside the area, the Argentine threw a left-footed shot over Tomas Vaclik. The change after Messi's injury was very evident. There was literally a leadership vacuum because nobody handed him the bracelet that Messi had been using.
Then, Dembele left behind a Sevilla defender, but instead of finishing with Vaclik or finding Suarez in the back post, as Messi would have done, he tried to face another and lost the ball. Suarez was furious and got angry again moments later when he played Dembele with another field pass. He did the sprint in the area to receive the cross, but Demebele went for goal and could not prove Vaclik.
Sevilla had been slow to realize that they were still in the game. When they did, Marc Andre ter Stegen was more than a rival for them. He grabbed a header from Andre Silva under his crossbar and then launched himself in front of Vazquez to block his rebound effort.
From almost 2-1, Sevilla went almost immediately to 3-0. Suarez ran and was shot down by Vaclik. It was an emphatic punishment, and he scored emphatically with his first goal in 570 minutes, his fourth of the season.
Sevilla made a late surge after Pablo Sarabia's shot went to Ter Stegen for Clement Lenglet to make it 3-1. Ter Stegen then made another double save for Luis Muriel and Sarabia. Muriel finally got the best of the goalkeeper, but only after Ivan Rakitic went into the room with three minutes to go.
Barcelona returned to the top of the table with victory. It had been too little too late since Seville. More nerves will be destroyed in Barcelona waiting for confirmation that Messi's injury will not keep him out for long.