Lionel Messi equalled Gerd Muller's record 525 goals with a single club in Europe's top five leagues as Barcelona extended their lead at the top of La Liga to five points, after a 2-0 victory over 10-man Villarreal at Estadio de la Ceramica.
The visitors dominated possession and had the better of the chances but had to wait until the 72nd minute to break the deadlock and it came from Uruguay international Luis Suarez who fired Paco Alcacer's assist home from close range.
Five-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi struck seven minutes from time to double Barca's lead as he collected the ball outside the box and went on a run before slotting the ball past Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo. It extended their unbeaten league run to 15 games and equalled former Bayern Munich striker Muller's record.
Atletico Madrid climbed back above city rivals Real into third place following a 1-0 win away to Real Betis.
Saul Niguez scored the only goal in the 29th minute when he turned in Sime Vrsaljko's cross from close range.
That puts Atletico two points clear of Real in third, one point behind second-placed Valencia.
Malaga climbed off the foot of the table with a 2-0 away win over Real Sociedad.
Borja Baston scored one penalty and then saw Chory Castro fire in the rebound when he missed a second just before the hour-mark.
Sociedad goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli felled Baston in the 22nd minute and he picked himself up to open the scoring.
Willian Jose hit the post for Sociedad early in the second half but was then guilty of handball in the 58th minute.
Though Baston's effort was saved, Castro was on hand to poke home the rebound and earn his team a much-needed win.
Athletic Bilbao moved further away from relegation trouble with a battling 2-1 win at fellow strugglers Levante.
Building on their fine midweek Europa League win at Zorya, the visitors took just five minutes to go ahead through an Aritz Aduriz penalty.
A 73rd-minute own goal from Aymeric Laporte threatened to end Bilbao's hopes of claiming a valuable win before Levante defender Sergio Postigo returned the favour with an own goal of his own six minutes later.