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%).
|Salah can push on to Messi´s level - Robertson|
|BREAKING NEWS: Rabada free to play in rest of South Africa-Australia series|
|F1 2018: Halo splits opinion ahead of Australia debut|
|Iniesta better than last year – Lopetegui|
|Federer yet to decide on clay-court season|
|Okon quits as Mariners head coach|
|LeBron triple-double powers Cavs past Bucks as Love returns|
|Lopetegui: Morata must earn World Cup spot|
|Ronaldo has asked about China – Scolari|
|Ebron signs two-year deal with Colts|
|Spieth, Reed to do battle in Match Play|
|Rangers´ Perez slaughtered, ate bull that caused broken elbow|
|Bills improve offensive line with Bodine, Newhouse|
|Braves phenom Acuna to start season in minors|
|Chargers add Pouncey on two-year deal|
|Ronaldo: I always show I´m the best|
|Joshua would love another Whyte tear-up, says Hearn|
|Manchester United not in Jorginho talks, says Napoli star´s agent|
|Hazard will not be false nine for Belgium, says Martinez|
|Bancroft confident on Starc and Marsh fitness|
|Mayweather to apply for MMA licence|
|Martial agent will not guarantee Manchester United stay|
|Del Potro and Djokovic on early collision course at Miami Open|
|Siemian swaps Broncos for Vikings|
|Broad chomping at the bit to bowl at Black Caps´ Taylor|
|Ronaldo slams ´fake news´ amid latest tax case claims|
|Van Dijk and Gundogan expect tough City-Liverpool tie|
|VAR to be introduced in Eredivisie|
|Di Biagio sees bright Italy future with Cutrone and Chiesa|
|Koeman won´t rule out Van Persie Netherlands return|
|I ate badly for years – how Messi solved his vomiting problem|
|England and Bath´s Watson out for the season|
|McLaren issues ´have been addressed´ ahead of F1 season opener|
|Tuchel feels he would still be at Dortmund without bomb attack|
|Pogba shows off new haircut as Ben Yedder trolls Man United star|
|Pogba cannot be happy but must focus on France, says Deschamps|
|Samuels slogs Windies closer to World Cup qualification|
|Having Rabada in third Test massive - Elgar|
|Cavs coach Lue steps away from job due to health reasons|
|Debuchy disappointed to be left out of latest France squad|
|Barton rejects England´s World Cup chances|
|Hamilton can become greatest F1 driver in history - Kovalainen|
|Sevilla coach Montella interested in Italy job|
|Football brain lacking, poor attitude and fourth choice – The Mourinho-Shaw saga at Manchester Unite|
|I´ve had enough - Pietersen confirms retirement|
|UEFA charges Marseille and Lyon for Europa League trouble|
|Broad ready to do damage in New Zealand series|
|Injured Chiellini out of Italy squad|
|Toulon-bound Webb out for rest of season|
|Buffon cites Astori among reasons for Italy return|
|Welbeck faces no action over alleged dive against Milan|
|Charnley switches back to league to join Warrington|
|Barcelona? I´m staying with PSG, insists Marco Verratti|
|Bastian Schweinsteiger & Ana Ivanovic announce birth of son|
|The numbers behind Cristiano Ronaldo´s 50 hat-tricks|
|Woods relishing end to frustrating Augusta absence|
|Consistency the only thing stopping me from being the best, claims Depay|
|Guardiola second to none tactially, says Man City midfielder Gundogan|
|McIlroy: Bay Hill win a huge confidence boost for Masters|
|F1 2018 Pre-Season Report: Mercedes|
|F1 2018: The best Opta facts ahead of the new season|
|Liverpool captain Henderson ponders Salah and Suarez comparison|
|Messi worried by the uncertainty retirement brings|
|F1 2018 Pre-Season Report: Ferrari|
|Hunt handed ban and fine but cleared to return|
|Rants, criticism a familiar story – Is Mourinho set for Man United exit?|
|Guptill added to Black Caps squad|
|Thunder end Raptors´ streak, Davis stars|
|Stars goalie Bishop expected to miss at least two weeks|
|Messi desperate for World Cup success|