Luis Suarez's 17th LaLiga goal of the season helped Barcelona return to winning ways with a hard-earned 2-0 win at 10-man Eibar.
On the back of consecutive league draws against Espanyol and Getafe, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde resisted the urge to shuffle his pack and named an XI it would be no surprise to see line up for Tuesday's Champions League match at Chelsea.
It was just as well, with Barca forced to repel wave after wave of attacks from Jose Luis Mendilibar's relentlessly high-pressing side.
Respite arrived courtesy of Suarez's well-taken 16th-minute goal, which was beautifully created by Lionel Messi's left boot.
Messi hit the post after Eibar's Fabian Orellana struck an effort against the crossbar, although the gifted but temperamental Chilean right-winger undermined the hosts' efforts by receiving his third red card in 12 appearances against Barca midway through the second half.
Remarkably, that did not check Eibar's ambition but Jordi Alba was able to seal the points two minutes from time.
Valverde's team have now equalled a club record by going 31 LaLiga games unbeaten and enjoy a 10-point lead at the summit, at least until Atletico Madrid host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.
Eibar went straight for Barcelona from kick-off, with Jose Angel heading over from Ruben Pena's cross inside the first minute.
The hosts' bold approach left room for the league leaders at the other end and Alba had a shot blocked after Suarez rounded goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic.
There was still no escaping the fact Mendilibar's men were making the sharper start, with Orellana and Kike Garcia finding room in behind left-back Alba to fire goalwards in quick succession.
It meant the opening goal came both against the run of play and with a touch of genius, as Messi's sumptuous throughball left centre-back Anaitz Arbilla splayed on the turf and Suarez skipped past Dmitrovic more effectively on this occasion to finish.
Eibar were not cowed and lively right winger Orellana unleashed a dipping effort against the bar before Joan Jordan dragged wastefully wide from the edge of the box.
To repeat the theme of his afternoon, the wandering Dmitrovic found himself rounded by Suarez again in the 36th minute and cut the ball back for Messi to rattle the far post.
A deft flick from Pape Diop sent Orellana into space down the right in the 55th minute and Takashi Inui lashed wide from his cutback.
Barcelona were struggling to halt Eibar's rumbling momentum, only for Orellana to foolishly do it for them.
The 32-year-old previously received red cards versus Barca while playing for Xerez and Celta Vigo and, having made a rash lunge on Andres Iniesta inside the opposition penalty area, he punched the ball away in frustration when Diop was punished for a 66th-minute foul on Sergio Busquets and received a second booking for dissent.
Mendilibar was furious, initially it seemed with his player, and continued haranguing the officials before being sent to the stand himself.
His players continued to push in vain despite the deck being stacked against them, ambition that contributed to a game-sealing second.
Philippe Coutinho - who will be cup-tied in midweek - picked out fellow substitute Aleix Vidal with a superb cross-field ball and, although Dmitrovic denied Messi from a cushioned pass into the box, Alba was on hand to slot home.
KEY OPTA STATS
- Luis Suárez has scored in his last five games against Eibar in La Liga (seven goals)
- Lionel Messi is Luis Suárez's top assistant in all competitions for Barcelona (25 assists)
- Jordi Alba has been involved in eight goals in La Liga this season, the most for a defender in the competition (two goals & six assists).
- Barcelona have won their eight La Liga games against Eibar (3.5 goals per game), the only side which have won all their games in La Liga against Eibar alongside Atletico (seven).
- Barcelona have kept 26 clean sheets in 40 games in all competitions this season (65%).
|Giant-slaying Kasatkina upstages Venus to reach Indian Wells final|
|Coaching Italy would be extraordinary – Mancini|
|J.J. Watt breaks news of Tyrann Mathieu´s deal with Texans|
|Super Bowl champion LeGarrette Blount joins Lions|
|Intensity key to Liverpool toppling Man City, says Klopp|
|Warriors star Durant to miss at least two weeks with rib injury|
|Doc Rivers fined $15,000 for calling officiating ´complete joke´|
|Ravens sign WR Michael Crabtree to three-year deal|
|Tiger stumbles as Stenson and DeChambeau move clear|
|Tiger Woods: I just tried not to shoot myself out of tournament|
|Del Potro to meet Raonic in semis|
|People listen to idiots - Mourinho cites ´dictionary of life´ in extraordinary rant|
|Mourinho tells struggling Manchester United stars to ´grow up´|
|Woods seven off Bay Hill lead after level-par second round|
|Real Madrid links ´massage the ego´ of Roma goalkeeper Alisson|
|Defending champions Rhinos end Saints´ unbeaten start|
|Pele impressed by Tite´s ability to cope with Brazil´s modern challenges|
|Duhan at the double to boost Edinburgh´s playoff hopes|
|FIFA Council approves open vote for 2026 World Cup|
|McIlroy in love with golf again ahead of Augusta challenge|
|Vikings sign DT Sheldon Richardson|
|FIFA approves VAR use at World Cup|
|Sampaoli ignores Icardi and Dybala, adds Correa to Argentina squad|
|Vikings celebrate Cousins capture as AFC lags behind in NFL ´arms´ race|
|Neymar to Real Madrid? Ask Florentino Perez, says Emery|
|Pogba not as good as Kondogbia - Valencia boss Marcelino|
|Buffon: Most determined team will win Juventus-Madrid tie|
|Inter target Martinez likened to Aguero by Crespo|
|Dortmund boss Stoger defends Gotze criticism|
|Chaos in Colombo as Mahmudullah blasts Tigers into final|
|Filipe Luis relishes overcoming ´obstacle´ as broken leg rules him out for two months|
|Blind cut from Koeman´s first Netherlands squad|
|Australia aim to find an answer to counter ´fantastic´ De Villiers|
|Stenson & DeChambeau tied for Arnold Palmer Invitational lead|
|Huddersfield wrap up permanent Lossl deal|
|Liverpool versus City promises goals, Juve plot Madrid revenge - Champions League quarter-finals in|
|Sharapova to miss Miami with forearm injury|
|Valencia midfielder Coquelin suffers torn Achilles|
|I could be in a league that´s won before kick-off – The best quotes from Mourinho´s tirade|
|Pardew fights on after West Brom talks|
|Juanfran hamstring injury adds to Atletico Madrid´s problems|
|Bayern can expect ´fiery atmosphere´ at Leipzig, says Hasenhuttl|
|Ruining Ireland´s Grand Slam bid won´t be England´s focus - Moody|
|Hughes encouraged by Southampton start|
|Juventus not thinking about Real Madrid just yet, Allegri claims|
|Morata has good World Cup chance despite being dropped, Lopetegui confirms|
|Foul-mouthed Klopp fumes at Premier League scheduling around Man City tie|
|Heynckes: Bayern have no interest in Malcom|
|Stenson makes Bay Hill turn with two-shot lead|
|Butragueno wary of Juventus ahead of titanic Real Madrid tussle|
|Liverpool-City a dream draw for Man Utd fans - Klopp|
|Alun Wyn Jones unimpressed with Eddie Jones comments|
|I won´t run away or cry - Mourinho delivers impassioned defence of Man Utd tenure|
|Emery demands focus from PSG after Champions League exit|
|Door still open for Reus and Gotze, says Low|
|Juventus can cause Real Madrid trouble, says Nedved|
|Javi Martinez, Fabregas, Morata absent from Spain squad, Marcos Alonso in|
|No preference on potential Barcelona-Real Madrid tie for Amor|
|Bayern can´t celebrate already - Heynckes wary of Sevilla threat|
|Narine reported for suspect bowling action|
|Marcos Rojo renews with Manchester United until 2021|
|Monday hearing for banned Rabada|
|Bayern´s Ulreich warned about ´witch´s cauldron´ at Sevilla|
|Klopp: I don´t mind facing Manchester City in Champions League|
|Europa League draw: Arsenal take on CSKA Moscow, Atletico get Sporting CP|
|Limbombe gets first Belgium call, Nainggolan back in the squad|
|Barcelona will have to sweat to beat Roma – Totti|
|Begiristain: Manchester City need to be almost perfect to beat Liverpool|
|Zidane is a much better coach now – Carvajal|
|Schmidt ´scared´ of Grand Slam thoughts|