Barcelona finally reclaimed top spot in the Spanish league after a 3-0 victory over bottom side Gimnastic Tarragona at the Nou Camp.
The win catapulted the Catalans above leaders Sevilla on goal difference and still holding a precious game in hand.
An opportunist's goal by Javier Saviola sent the defending champions on their way after 18 minutes as the Argentinean continued his rich vein of form.
The diminutive striker had looked on his way at the start if his season after spending the last two campaigns out on loan, but media reports now suggest coach Frank Rijkaard will attempt to convince him to sign a new contract worth up to $3.8 million a season.
Ludovic Giuly added Barca's second midway through the second half from close range after excellent approach play from Ronaldinho down the right first let in Eidur Gudjohnsen whose effort was blocked on the line before his French colleague swooped.
As Tarragona wilted Andres Iniesta hit the third with a crisp effort through a defence all at sea in the face of relentless pressure.
Villa on target
Earlier Sunday, Spanish international striker David Villa scored the only goal as Valencia moved to within two points of Barca and Sevilla with a 1-0 win at struggling Real Sociedad.
Villa struck on 28 minutes to lift Valencia, who won the title in 2004, onto 36 points.
In other games Sunday, Gefafe, coached by former Real and Barcelona favourite Bernd Schuster, beat Celta Vigo to move to the fringes of the top six.
Manu del Moral scored the only goal after just 39 seconds while the visitors finished with ten men after Chilean defender Pablo Contreras picked up two bookings.
On a day where goals were at a premium, Real Betis and Racing Santander parted 1-1, leaving the former in the drop zone.
Deportivo La Coruna and Espanyol, bottom five inhabitants Levante and Athletic Bilbao and UEFA Cup aspirants Real Zaragoza and Recreativo Huelva all failed to find the net in their clashes.