Barcelona ensured they hold all the bragging rights in Catalunya after a 1-0 win over arch rivals Espanyol at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's first-half penalty proved decisive as the hosts were made to sweat for all three points by a Espanyol side determined to derail the La Liga holders.
Much of the talk going into the match was whether or not the visitors could repeat their heroics of last season when they came into the game woefully out of form, struggling and as firm underdogs, but still grabbed a stunning 2-1 win.
Alas this time around there were to be no miracles as Barca ground out a 1-0 win to keep the gap over second place Real Madrid to five points before they jet off to Abu Dhabi to participate in the World Club Cup.
La Blaugrana signalled their intent early on in the match and could have been two up within the first 25 minutes.
Firstly young striker Pedro - in for the injured Lionel Messi - shot wide with only Carlos Kameni to beat, before the impressive Thierry Henry was brilliantly played in by Ibrahimovic only for Kameni to block his one-on-one effort in the 17th miunte.
The visitors' back-line eventually gave way when Xavi was fouled in the box by an over-eager Raul Baena - up stepped Ibrahimovic who blasted the penalty high into the roof of the net for his 11th league goal of the season.
That was a good as it got for the hosts who seemingly had one eye on their trip to Abu Dhabi and Los Periquitos boss Mauricio Pochettino decided to ditch his side's overly cautious approach and bring on striker Jose Callejón and midfielder Javi Márquez for Joan Verdú and Raul Baena.
It almost proved to be an inspired move as Espanyol pressed Barca hard in the second-half, but to no avail as Pep Guardiola's men held on to maintain their best ever start to a La Liga campaign and remain the only unbeaten team in Spain.
Afterwards, Guardiola congratulated his players on a hard-fought win: "It was just as I thought. I knew it would be a closed-down game," he told the club's official website.
"We've beaten a great side. It’s an important win. We played well in the first half, it was a close thing. In the second, Espanyol created problems for us. We’re tired and it must be noticeable," he added.
Barca move to 39 points, five ahead of Real, who beat Valencia 3-2 at the Mestalla on Saturday night thanks to a double from Gonzalo Higuain and Ezequiel Garay.
ExtraFootie are on hand to provide you with the best of the action from Barca's narrow win over Espanyol.