Barcelona forward Lionel Messi struck a remarkable 600th professional goal for club and country on Sunday by scoring the opener in his side's Liga clash at home to nearest challengers Atletico Madrid.
The Argentine bent his free-kick over the wall to score his 600th professional goal, giving the hosts the lead after 26 minutes and that ultimately proved to be the match-winner.
Messi has remained loyal to Barcelona throughout his career and after 14 years banging in goals at the Camp Nou it's not really a surprise that he's Barcelona's top scorer with 569 goals.
Atletico Madrid's frontline of Antoine Griezmann and Diego Costa will be relishing their Camp Nou chance. PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU
After the win, Barcelona still sits at the top of the table with 69 points, while Atletico has 61 points. "Because of the awful and delicate situation, and most of all for the respect due to his family, we make an appeal to everybody's sensitiveness".
Barcelona could, and should, have added to their tally but Oblak pulled off a great save to deny Sergio Busquets and saw another effort from Messi deflected over the bar.
"In the first half Barcelona dominated", he said.More news: Chanel Iman & Sterling Shepard: Must-See Photos Of The Couple
Ernesto Valverde made a statement of attacking intent by plumping for the more creative Philippe Countinho over Paulinho but his team took a while to find their rhythm.
On Sunday, Griezmann will attempt to maintain that form and gun down a Barcelona team he is strongly expected to join in the summer, with the Camp Nou making no secret of their intentions to capture the striker in a €100 million transfer. There are still tough games between now and the end of the season.
"Iniesta is a unique player, a little like Messi, so it's hard to find a player who can replace him", Barca coach Valverde said of his captain. "It was a very important game because being eight points ahead is not the same as two".More news: Jose Mourinho: 'Media are unfair to Manchester United'
Despite the laudable consistency they have shown in competing well with Barca and Real Madrid over the last few years, Atletico have not won anything since taking the Spanish Super Cup at the start of the 2014/15 campaign.
The closest Atletico came to scoring was a goal by Gameiro that was disallowed when Costa was ruled offside when he set him up late. "The team has always responded in these type of games, offering certain guarantees in that sense, and today was another case of that".More news: Mariners Nearing Deal With Ichiro Suzuki