David Villa struck just after halftime to lift champions Barcelona to a laboured 1-0 home win over his former club Sporting Gijon in La Liga on Wednesday.
Barca, missing injured Argentina forward Lionel Messi, struggled to break down a well-organised Gijon side before Daniel Alves sent Villa clear in the 49th minute and the Spain striker finished clinically past goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar.
Andres Iniesta had a dominant Barca's best chance of the first half but Cuellar palmed his powerful low shot away for a corner.
The home side controlled possession without ever looking like extending their lead and survived a spell of late pressure to secure the win.
With four matches played, Barca have nine points, one behind arch-rivals Real Madrid, who beat Espanyol 3-0 on Tuesday, and level with Valencia, who can make it four wins out of four with a home victory over Atletico Madrid in Wednesday's late kickoff.