A brilliant late winner for Barcelona was hit by Francisco Trincao as they came from behind to defeat Real Betis 3-2.
Shortly before halftime, Borja Iglesias sent the hosts ahead but Lionel Messi, on as a substitute after the break, leveled in the 59th minute.
The Argentine, who rested ahead of Seville’s Copa del Rey semi-final, played a role in Victor Ruiz’s own goal, which moved Barcelona ahead before Ruiz scored two points at the other end to level the score.
In the 87th minute, however, Trincao curled home from the edge of the area to help the side of Ronald Koeman win their sixth consecutive La Liga match and climb over Real Madrid, on goal difference, to second on the table in the La Liga.
“I have to do my job, in attack and defense, I’m happy for the team and the win,” Portuguese forward Trincao said.
“We changed the attitude a bit (in the second half) and that was the most important thing.”
Atletico Madrid leads the Barca Trail by seven points and has played two more matches.
Earlier, as Athletic Bilbao drew 1-1 with Valencia, Real Sociedad thrashed Cadiz 4-1.
For La Real, sixth on the table, Mikel Oyarzabal and Alexander Isak both hit braces, although the victory was controversially affected by the video assistant referee (VAR).
After a penalty for a handball by Alvaro Negredo, won after a VAR referral, Oyarzabal opened the scoring, while a penalty in favor of Cadiz was reversed.
After another VAR search, at the end of the half-Cadiz defender, Marcos Mauro had a yellow card for a foul on Oyarzabal elevated to red.
In the second half, Isak grabbed two with Negredo taking one back for Cadiz.
Cadiz president Manuel Vizcaino wrote in an open letter to the Spanish FA (RFEF) after the game, “Fix VAR, for the good of football, for the good of the RFEF and the good of everybody,”
Also on Sunday, after Hugo Guillamon’s own goal sent Athletic ahead in a mid-table draw, Gabriel Paulista pulled Valencia level with a fine header, while Osasuna jumped Eibar out of the relegation places with a 2-1 victory.