Resurgent Barcelona survived a late bout of nerves to beat Real Mallorca 3-2 at the Nou Camp on Sunday and stretch their winning league run to seven matches.
Two eye-catching goals from Luis Garcia, either side of a tap-in from Luis Enrique, set Barcelona on their way and the home side held on despite a 90th-minute chip from Samuel Eto'o and an Andrija Delibasic strike deep in injury time.
Victory for Barcelona took them to within a point of third-placed Deportivo Coruna and kept second-placed Valencia in their sights.
With 11 games remaining, Real Madrid lead the standings with 60 points, following their 1-1 draw away to Racing Santander on Saturday, with Valencia now six points behind them after their 3-0 win at home to Deportivo Coruna.
Deportivo remain third on 50 points with Barcelona breathing down their necks.
Barcelona have an eight-point cushion in the fourth and final Champions League qualification slot after Athletic Bilbao were beaten 4-1 at home to Valladolid and Atletico Madrid had to strike late to claim a 1-1 draw at home to Murcia.
Both Bilbao and Atletico have 41 points from 27 games, in fifth and sixth respectively.
Barcelona were in command against Mallorca for all but the final three minutes and managed to hold on for a well deserved win.
"It happens quite often, a side thinking all the work's done and then conceding goals," said Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard.