This seemed to foreshadow the first half as neither side could break down each other’s defensive line.
Messi had another chance on 20 minutes when Luis Suarez dummied a Jordi Alba pass across the area, but he scuffed his effort straight at Patricio.
It took just four minutes of the second half for Barca to take the lead when Suarez headed on a Messi free-kick into the area and the ball bounced into the net off the chest of Sporting defender and the latter’s Uruguay worldwide team-mate Coates.
The Uruguay forward then had a sight of goal himself after being played into the left side of the penalty area, but Patricio made a smart block at the near post.
Barcelona, meanwhile, are now on their best run of form since March 2016 heading into Sunday’s La Liga clash with Las Palmas and sit three points clear of their nearest rivals in the group.
At the other end, Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was finally called into action on the half-hour when getting down to stop Marcos Acuna’s 18-yard drive.
Sporting were forced into an unusual change before half-time when Seydou Doumbia was booked for diving, then had to come off after picking up an injury in the process.
Barcelona’s influential playmaker was instrumental in the opening goal just three minutes into the second period.
Messi floated in a deep free-kick from the right. This, rather fortunately, fell to Luis Suarez who’s misdirected header ricocheted off Sebastian Coates and trickled into the back of Rui Patricio’s net. Barcelona and Sporting CP are the teams which come from the Group D.
William Carvalho blasted a late chance over, but Barcelona could have added a second with five minutes left when substitute Paulinho shot straight at the keeper after being played into the Sporting penalty area.