A brace by Neymar secured a 2-1 victory for Barcelona against Villarreal at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening.
The win leaves Barcelona three points clear of Atletico Madrid and five points clear of rivals Real Madrid.
Alex Song nearly put the home side ahead in the 6th minute, the Cameroonian's effort crashing onto the upright, following a corner from Neymar.
Neymar gave Barcelona the lead in the 29th minute from the penalty spot, after Mario Perez was judged to have handled the ball inside the area.
In the 39th minute Alex Sanchez nearly doubled the host's lead, but the striker's effort from eight yards drew a fine save from Sergio Asenjo.
Villareal equalised in the 47th minute through Mateo Musacchio, the defender thumped his header past Jose Manuel Pinto, following a corner from Manu Trigueros.
Sanchez tested Asenjo with a shot from distance in the 52nd minute, but Villareal's number one was equal to the effort.
Asenjo came to Villareal's rescue in the 62nd minute, this time to deny Cesc Fabregas from close range, after the midfielder was played through by Sanchez.
Neymar restored the Catalan's lead in the 67th minute, after Fabregas managed to pick out Sanchez, the Chilean then teed up Neymar, who finished into an empty net.
Andres Iniesta brought out the best of Asenjo in the 81st minute, the keeper did well to keep out Iniesta's left footed volley.