Champions Barcelona moved back to within a point of leaders Real Madrid at the league summit with Lionel Messi and David Villa both scoring braces in a 5-0 home romp over 10-man Sevilla at Camp Nou on Saturday.
Argentine Messi scored his sixth league goal of the season on four minutes before Spanish World Cup star Villa answered his critics with a sensational second for his first league goal since late September.
Sevilla old boy Dani Alves made it 3-0 early in the second half before Messi got his fourth goal in his last two league matches and Villa completed the scoring in the final minute.
Barcelona go above Villarreal into second place, a point behind arch rivals Real Madrid who had to come from behind for the first time this season to defeat promoted Hercules 3-1.
"We reacted to what (Jose) Mourinho said to us at half-time," explained Real captain Iker Casillas. "I am not going to reveal what he said but it was just perfect."
Cristiano Ronaldo scored a quadruple in his last league outing and scored twice on 82 and 86 minutes to make it 10 goals in his last four league matches and 11 for the season.