Victory could see the hosts climb above high-flying Celta Vigo into eighth place and inject a dose of real positivity into an inconsistent campaign.
It was a game that mattered a great deal to both sides, and an action-packed opening period underlined that.
Barcelona hit back inside the opening quarter of an hour. Lionel Messi hiked a high ball crossfield to find Frenkie de Jong at the back post, who brought the ball back across goal for Pedri to score. Unai Simon could have perhaps done better.
Shortly before half-time, the Blaugrana took a deserved lead. Messi played a cute ball in to Pedri, who delayed for a moment before back-heeling into the path of Messi, who had broken, for the Argentine to coolly finish.
GOL! Lionel Messi 38'
— noobfcb (@noob_fcb) January 6, 2021