Champions Barcelona went seven points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the Spanish first division on Saturday as goals from Pedro Rodriguez, Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta sealed a 3-0 home win over Racing Santander.
Barcelona had lost 3-1 to Real Betis in their midweek Kings Cup match - although they reached the semi-finals 6-3 on aggregate - but got off to the perfect start with Spanish winger Pedro netting his 11th league goal after just 90 seconds on Saturday.
Barcelona then coasted to their 14th consecutive league win and maintained their flawless away record with a ninth win on the road.
Barca went ahead after just 90 seconds against Racing with Messi playing a wall pass with Villa before chipping goalwards for Pedro to chest the ball in from close range.
Villa, Adriano and captain Carles Puyol all missed good chances before Villa won a penalty on 33 minutes by tricking Brazilian defender Henrique, who is on loan at Racing from Barcelona, with some quick footwork.
Messi converted the spot-kick for his 19th league goal of the season as Barca went in 2-0 at the interval.
The hosts scored again on 56 minutes with Spain star Iniesta watching his deflected shot swerve in.
Valencia moved a point above Villarreal into third with a 90th minute winner from Aritz Aduriz clinching a thrilling 4-3 win over nine-man Malaga.
Brazilian international forward Luis Fabiano scored a hattrick as Sevilla cruised to a 4-1 home win over Levante to boost their hopes of a top-four finish.
Sevilla 4 (Fabiano 27, 42-pen, 67, Escude 38) Levante 1 (Xisco 57)
Barcelona 3 (Pedro 2, Messi 33-pen, Iniesta 56) Racing Santander 0
Valencia 4 (Mata 16-pen, Soldado 53, Banega 67, Aduriz 90) Malaga 3 (Rondon 9, 34, Baptista 79)