A goal in either half from teenage sensation Ansu Fati and captain Lionel Messi sealed an important 2-0 Barcelona win at home to Leganes.
The victory reestablished La Blaugrana’s five point lead over Real Madrid, with Zinedine Zidane’s side facing Valencia later this week.
Quique Setien’s side were far from their best against Javier Aguirre’s relegation battlers.
Leganes striker Miguel Guerrero was denied by a goal line clearance from Clement Lenglet, in the best chance of the opening stages.
Spanish U21 international Fati fired the home side in front on 42 minutes as Junior Firpo’s pass rebounded to him on the edge of the box.
Barcelona continued to struggle to create clear cut chances, with Messi putting the game beyond doubt on 70 minutes.
The Argentinian international rode two challenges in midfield, before being barged over inside the box by Jonathan Silva.
Messi sent Ivan Cuellar the wrong way for his 21 La Liga goal of the season.
Up next for Setien’s title challengers is a trip to Sevilla on June 19, with Julen Lopetegui’s side chasing a Champions League spot.