Barcelona shook off the disappointment of their Champions League defeat by Chelsea to extend their lead in the Primera Liga to 11 points with a 2-0 defeat of Athletic Bilbao.
Barca, who lost 4-2 at Chelsea to slip out of Europe on Tuesday, made a nervous start at the Nou Camp but settled down after 20 minutes when Portugal midfielder Deco scored with a deflected shot.
The Catalans proceeded to take complete control and had several chances to extend their lead before winger Ludovic Giuly struck six minutes before the break.
The Frenchman curled a superb low drive inside the far post after Ronaldinho [Images] had slipped a neat pass into his path on the right side of the penalty area.
Barca's victory puts the pressure on second-placed Real Madrid [Images], who also went out of the Champions League in midweek after a 2-0 extra-time defeat at Juventus.
Real make the short trip across the Spanish capital to play modest neighbours Getafe on Sunday, a game they must win if they are to keep alive any hopes of overhauling their arch-rivals.
A rejuvenated Malaga, who have only lost one of their last six matches, host seventh-placed Real Betis in an Andalucian derby in Saturday's late match.
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