Lionel Messi was at his dominant best as he helped Barcelona to a 2-0 win over Villarreal.
Barca needed three points after two successive draws heading into the game at the Estadio de Ceramica but it looked like the game was heading to a draw after both Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique.
Roberto Soriano was doing his best to get the home side on the score-sheet but he found La Liga’s most in-form keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen in superb form.
The game ultimately changed when Daniel Raba was sent off an ugly lunge on Sergio Busquets after an hour and his dismissal changed the flow of the game.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde hauled on Aleix Vidal and Paco Alcacer and both made an impact with the latter playing a neat one-two with Suarez, who rounded Marco Asensio to give the league leaders a 1-0 lead.
Messi, who controlled the second half – got himself on the score-sheet and wrapped up the win moments later after a bizarre moment involving Victor Ruiz and Alvaro.
The victory sees Barca move clear at the top once more, whilst Valencia sit second in the table.
Atletico Madrid, who sit third, ensured they and Barca are still the unbeaten sides in the league with a 1-0 win over Real Betis.
Real Madrid, who hammered Sevilla 5-0 on Saturday suit fourth, eight points behind Barca.