Barcelona moved above Sevilla to the top of La Liga as Gerard Pique and Carles Alena scored to secure a win over struggling Villarreal.
Pique headed in Ousmane Dembele’s right-wing cross for the opening goal.
And youngster Alena scored his first La Liga goal when he chipped the ball over Sergio Asenjo from Lionel Messi’s through ball.
Sevilla missed the chance to go back to the top when they drew 1-1 at fourth-placed Alaves later on Sunday.
They had looked set for defeat following Jony’s close-range finish but Wissam Ben Yedder’s strike saved a point for the visitors.
Barca, who had several players out injured, were far from their best against Villarreal although Messi almost added a third late on.
The Yellow Submarine should have led earlier on, with Gerard Moreno hitting the post after holding off Clement Lenglet.
It was only a second win in five games for Barca, while Villarreal remain one place outside the relegation zone with one victory in their past eight games.