Atletico Madrid moved into the second place in LaLiga thanks to a 2-0 win over Sevilla at the Wanda Metropolitano.
Second-half goals from Yannick Carrasco and Antoine Griezmann were enough to beat Eduardo Berizzo's men and lift the hosts above them in the table.
Both sides held an unbeaten record this season heading into the showdown in the capital and there was a distinct wariness to proceedings, with Pablo Sarabia and Filipe Luis hitting the woodwork with the only real chances of the first half.
Carrasco made the most of a defensive error from Steven N'Zonzi to put Atleti in the lead soon after the interval, though, and Sevilla rarely looked like mustering a comeback against a team they have beaten only once in 14 league meetings.
Griezmann's emphatic finish in the 69th minute made the points safe and allowed head coach Diego Simeone to hand his stars some rest ahead of next week's Champions League meeting with Chelsea, as imminent new signing Diego Costa watched on approvingly from the stands.
They are now a point clear of Sevilla in the table and just one behind Barca, who face Girona in a derby match later on Saturday.
Atleti applied some early pressure but Sarabia came close to breaking the deadlock in the 12th minute, his shot taking a deflection off Stefan Savic before bouncing off the right-hand post.
Filipe Luis rattled the woodwork himself midway through the half, blasting a half-volley off the crossbar after being teed up by Carrasco's cut-back, as Atleti began to threaten in earnest.
The hosts continued to look the more likely to find a breakthrough but lacked any real verve in the attacking third, as Sevilla dealt comfortably with a succession of corners and kept clear-cut chances to a minimum.
However, less than two minutes into the second half, Atleti made the visitors pay for their first defensive lapse. Carrasco chased down a loose ball, dispossessed N'Zonzi and rounded Sergio Rico before slotting home.
13 - @CarrascoY21 has scored 13 goals in La Liga since the start of last season, more than any other midfielder. Key.— OptaJose (@OptaJose) September 23, 2017
With their noses in front, Atleti seemed content to sit back and allow Sevilla the ball, although they invited one dangerous-looking scramble in the box that almost allowed Luis Muriel a tap-in at the left-hand post.
But Atletico pounced on more slack defending to make the win safe with a little over 20 minutes left to play. Griezmann made a fine sliding tackle to block Jesus Navas' attempted clearance in the penalty area, and when he received the ball back from Filipe Luis, he blasted low past Rico and into the bottom-right corner.
Atleti eased through the closing stages to claim an important three points that puts pressure on leaders Barca, as well as champions Real Madrid, who are six points further back in the standings with a game in hand.
Key Opta stats:
- Yannick Carrasco has scored 13 goals in LaLiga since the start of last season, more than any other midfielder.
- It is third time the Belgian player has scored in back-to-back LaLiga games since he joined Atletico.
- Sevilla have failed to score for the first time this season in all competitions.
- Antoine Griezmann has had a hand in five of Atletico's last seven goals against Sevilla (two goals, three assists).
- Atletico have not lost any of their last ten LaLiga games (W7 D3), their best streak since May 2015 (13)
- Under Simeone, Atletico have not lost a LaLiga home game against an Andalusian side (W23 D3).
- Atletico are unbeaten all the 13 LaLiga games in which Carrasco scored at least once (W12 D1)
- Diego Simeone has only lost one of his seven games as a manager against Eduardo Berizzo in LaLiga (W5 D1). This was in February 2015 - a 2-0 loss at Baladdos.
23. Juni 2018
|´Little Pea´ Hernandez hits big Mexico milestone in World Cup win|
|Modric and Rakitic the best midfield in Russia - Corluka|
|Cipriani and Farrell ease pressure on Jones as England avoid SA whitewash|
|South Korea 1 Mexico 2: Hernandez nets landmark goal as last 16 beckons|
|Ozil and Khedira axed by Germany|
|Djokovic plans to use two rackets against Cilic after reaching Queen´s final|
|World Cup of penalties? Russia surpasses Brazil after VAR introduction|
|Neymar ´fully recovered´ but Brazil coach Tite has thigh injury|
|Hansen claims France ´clutching at straws´ after another referee controversy|
|Douglas Costa, Danilo out of Brazil´s Serbia clash|
|Hamilton claims 75th pole as Mercedes dominate in France|
|´Mentally strong´ Salah will overcome World Cup disappointment, says Mane|
|Pekerman contemplating unleashing James and Quintero together|
|Schmidt hopes Australia furnace will produce Ireland diamonds|
|I´m missing practice, but it´s OK - Federer ready for Coric|
|Spain v Morocco: Alba makes case for the defence|
|Team-man Lukaku firmly in the race for individual prize|
|Belgium 5 Tunisia 2: Lukaku and Hazard shine as Red Devils run riot|
|Leaked England team gives Panama no advantage, insists Gomez|
|Mane and Senegal holding no fear for Japan|
|Murray to meet Wawrinka at Eastbourne|
|Nigeria goalkeeper Ikeme in remission after year-long cancer battle|
|Lukaku breaks Belgium record against Tunisia|
|Iran v Portugal: Team Melli bullish over qualification chances|
|Mauresmo to be France´s first female Davis Cup captain|
|Maradona angry at Argentina World Cup performances|
|Ireland cap stunning season with series win over Wallabies|
|Uruguay v Russia: Selection posers for already-qualified pair|
|Federer scraps his way to yet another Halle final|
|Lunin rejected ´3,000 offers´ to join Real Madrid|
|On your bike! Iceland physio sent home after cycling accident|
|Not just Real Madrid interested in Fekir, says Aulas|
|France frustrated by officials again as All Blacks complete sweep in style|
|Jose Enrique reveals brain tumour surgery|
|The referee was a disaster, fumes Matic|
|Lakmal to captain Sri Lanka in Chandimal´s absence|
|Alli back in England training|
|McIlroy, Watson plotting moves as Harman leads Travelers Championship|
|Tearful Neymar is a joyful boy, says Jesus|
|Ruiz: Coutinho has the same quality as Neymar|
|Kovacic announces intention to leave Real Madrid|
|Red Sox edge Mariners in 34-hit extravaganza|
|Marquez asks Mexico fans to ´let them rest´|
|Fabregas hopeful of Spain recall|
|Milinkovic-Savic plays down Juventus speculation|
|Rashford inspired by Ronaldo|
|Messi is not a leader, he is no Ronaldo, claims Petit|
|Better than Ballack? Hodgson backs Loftus-Cheek to shine against Panama|
|Svitolina and Garcia suffer upsets|
22. Juni 2018
|Walker responds to Ferdinand criticism|
|Djokovic still hungry for more after reaching major milestone|
|Ellis drop goal earns Castleford dramatic win|
|Nigeria hero Musa unsure on Leicester City future|
|X marks the spot - Granit´s rocket sets World Cup first|
|Xhaka and Shaqiri follow the script as Serbia are derailed|
|Chandimal appeal against ban rejected|
|Real Madrid sign teenage goalkeeper Lunin|
|Serbia 1 Switzerland 2: Shaqiri strikes late to clinch crucial comeback victory|
|Suspended Srna joins Serie A side Cagliari|
|Cilic sets up Kyrgios showdown as Djokovic reaches milestone|
|Kudla up next in Federer´s Halle ´fight´|
|Assistant Farbrace to take charge of England for T20 games|
|Hummels hoping to be fit for Sweden clash|
|Hend surges clear as Fleetwood struggles again in Pulheim|
|Giant-killers Mexico embrace sudden weight of expectation|
|Roma complete €17.25m Kluivert deal|
|Pakistan name strong group for Zimbabwe tour|
|Choc Horror: Boullier insists McLaren do not hand out Freddos as bonuses|
|Neymar: Not everyone knows what I went through|
|Poland v Colombia: No time to dwell on regrets, warns Aguilar|