Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored his 11th goal in 14 outings for Barcelona in a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad.
With the win, they are back in second place in La Liga, with a six-point lead over fifth-placed Betis. If they win their game in hand against Rayo Vallecano on Sunday, they will be almost certain to play in the Champions League next season.
On 11 minutes, the former Arsenal striker headed home Ferran Torres’ cross from close range at the far post to give Xavi’s squad the lead.
After Ousmane Dembele’s attempt rebounded back off the post, Torres was the first to a loose ball.
Real Sociedad had a chance to equalize before halftime, but Alexsander Isak missed the target after being set up by Alex Sorloth.
The former Arsenal captain has had five goals so far this season.
In the first half, Gerard Pique was booed every time he touched the ball and was suffering from a groin ailment.
The scandal surrounding his leaked phone talks with the President of the Spanish Football Federation, Luis Rubiales, has refocused attention on him.
Xavi had predicted his success, and he appeared to be more disturbed by the injury than by the whistling.
In the second half, he wasn’t the only one who was down, as Jordi Alba and Ronald Araujo both went down with injuries. Eric Garcia replaced Araujo.
The second defender to go down was Dani Alves, who, like Araujo, had to be replaced by Sergino Dest.
Watch Goal Below
Real Sociedad continued to threaten, but without success, and Barcelona owed it to Marc Andre ter Stegen.
With a fantastic save to keep out Adan Januzaj’s cross-shot, he kept them at bay. He also used his heel to parry Sorloth’s attack.
With 10 minutes remaining, Pique was ultimately brought off to great applause from all corners of the stadium.
Clement Lenglet replaced him, and he, like the other four Barcelona defenders who had started the game, required medical attention after colliding with Isak.
After being knocked out of the Europa League by Eintracht Frankfurt and embarrassed by lowly Cadiz, he soldiered on and Barcelona saw out 10 minutes of added time to get back on track.