Barcelona have moved eight points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the La Liga table following a 2-1 win over Sevilla at Camp Nou on Sunday night.
The result has also seen the Catalan outfit extend their unbeaten run in all competitions to a record-equalling 34 matches and open up a 12-point lead over third-place Real Madrid in Spain’s top flight.
Vitolo sent Sevilla, who have lost in La Liga for the first time since January, into a surprise 20th-minute lead at Camp Nou, but goals from Lionel Messi and Gerard Pique ensured that Barcelona would record their ninth successive three points.
Twice Barcelona rattled the woodwork in the 13th minute, with Luis Suarez hitting the crossbar after Messi had clipped the post direct from a corner kick, which arrived when Sergio Rico pushed a Suarez effort round the post.
It was Sevilla that took the lead, however, when Spanish attacker Vitolo volleyed an excellent Benoit Tremoulinas cross past Bravo in the 20th minute to silence the home supporters.
Barcelona were level little over 10 minutes later, however, when Messi curled a stunning free kick into the top corner to score his 16th league goal of the campaign.
Messi continued to look the most likely to score the game’s third goal as the first period approached its final moments, but Sevilla remained a threat on the counter-attack due to the pace of Kevin Gameiro.
Barcelona took the lead for the first time in the match less than three minutes into the second period when Pique turned home from close range after Suarez had brilliantly disguised a pass inside the box.
Michael Krohn-Dehli had a half-chance for Sevilla just before the hour during a period where Barcelona were looking for a third, but the midfielder’s effort was wide of the post, before Roberto had a header blocked down the other end.
Suarez had a super chance to make it 3-1 Barcelona in the 73rd minute when a loose ball fell for the league’s top scorer, but the Uruguay international could not sort out his feet and Rico managed to collect.
Down the other end, N’Zonzi came close on two separate occasions just before the 80th minute, but Barcelona survived a spell of aerial pressure to lead entering the final 10 minutes of action.