Lionel Messi has provided a goal and an assist in Barcelona's 2-0 win over Sevilla that sent the Catalan giants second and within two points of the La Liga summit.
Messi's quick feet and vision, Ousmane Dembele's speed and finishing touch, and a defensive performance that Ronald Koeman called his team's best of this league season marked the victory in Seville.
The victory lifted Barcelona, who have played 25 games, past Real Madrid into second place and just adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid.
Barcelona also halted Sevilla's climb up the standings by ending their six-round winning streak, keeping Julen Lopetegui's side in fourth place, eight points off the lead.
A win by Sevilla would have moved them ahead of Barcelona and made them firm title contenders.
Equally as important, the victory boosted Barcelona's hopes of coming back from a 2-0 deficit when they host Sevilla in the return leg of their Spanish Cup semi-final.
"If we can overturn the tie on Wednesday, our entire season turns around," Barcelona defender Gerard Pique said.
"After playing like this at Sevilla, not giving them a single scoring chance, we are confident that we can do good things this season."
Barcelona struggled under Ronald Koeman during the coach's first two months in charge but they are now unbeaten in 15 La Liga matches and are on a seven-game winning run away from the Camp Nou.
Dembele opened the scoring in the 29th minute when Messi played him clear on a quick attack to end Sevilla's excellent defensive streak of five straight clean sheets in the league.
Messi capped a complete performance by his team with five minutes remaining.
The club's all-time leading scorer dribbled through the area and beat goalkeeper Yassine Bounou on a second try.
It was Messi's league-leading 19th goal of the season and his 30th career goal against Sevilla.
Pape Diop broke into tears after he scored a late header to salvage Eibar a 1-1 draw with bottom side Huesca.
The midfielder said he was overcome by thoughts of his father, who died in December.
Getafe defeated Valencia 3-0 to end a run of six rounds without a victory, while Osasuna won at Alaves 1-0.
Australian Associated Press