Luis Suarez scored a brace to help jump Barcelona back into second place in La Liga after a 4-1 defeat of Espanyol on Sunday.
With the win, the Catalan giants leapfrogged now third-placed Sevilla, who destroyed Malaga by the same scoreline on Saturday.
And it was the former Liverpool striker who put Luis Enrique’s side ahead in sensational fashion on 18 minutes.
In full stride, the Uruguay international expertly brought down a pinpoint long ball from Andres Iniesta before cutting inside the last defender and sliding his right-footed shot past a sprawling Diego Lopez and into the far corner.
Suarez then struck again just after the hour mark for his second of the day — pouncing on Lopez’s spilled save attempt of a Lionel Messi shot and powerfully burying the rebound.
With the floodgates open, Barca found a third seconds later through Jordi Alba who fired his shot low and past Lopez after a slaloming Messi run ended with the ball rolling into his path.
Espanyol worked a consolation goal in the 79th — David Lopez struck sweetly into the top corner after a Gerard Moreno pass. But Barca struck their fourth just before the final whistle, Messi poking past Lopez from close range after a fine one-two with Suarez at the top of the box.
A second-half strike from Bebe earned Eibar a 1-1 draw away to Leganes, who were hamstrung by the dismissal of goalkeeper Iago Herrerin in the 26th minute of the match.
Miguel Angel Guerrero had given the home side the lead at the Estadio Butarque in the 23rd minute but Herrerin’s red card, for a foul on Takashi Inui, changed the complexion of the game and the former Manchester United forward earned Eibar a point.
Deportivo La Coruna pulled four points clear of the relegation zone with a 2-0 victory over rock-bottom Osasuna at the Estadio Riazor.
Florin Andone headed the home side in front before Ryan Babel nodded in a second just before the break to set Depor on course for the win, their fourth of the season with all of them coming at home.
It meant Osasuna’s wretched run continued, with just one win in their first 16 games signalling what looks like an immediate return to the second tier.