Goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez fired Barcelona to a priceless 2-1 win over nine-man Atletico Madrid to strike a huge blow in the Primera Division title race.
Atletico got off to a fine start at the Nou Camp as Koke gave them the lead after just 10 minutes but Messi and Suarez each struck in the space of eight minutes to turn the game around before the break.
The balance of the table-top showdown then further tipped in Barca's favour when Atletico defenders Filipe Luis and Diego Godin were sent off, and a frustrating afternoon for Diego Simeone's side was later compounded as Augusto Fernandez was stretchered off with a suspected knee injury.
The result sees the Catalan side move three points above their nearest challengers at the top of the table thanks to their fifth straight win over Atletico, and Luis Enrique's men still boast a game in hand.
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Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona's Fifa Club World Cup semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday due to renal colic.
The Catalan giants, who triumphed in the competition in 2009 and 2011, launch their bid for a third title against the Chinese side at the International Stadium Yokohama, but will have to do so without the four-time Ballon d'Or winner.
"Leo Messi, last-minute absentee from the Club World Cup semi-final. The player has renal colic," the club posted on Twitter.
A statement on the website continued: "Leo Messi will not be playing after waking up on Thursday morning with renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly caused by kidney stones. His future availability will depend on the outcome of further medical tests."
Brazil striker Neymar is carrying a groin injury but has travelled to Japan as Barca look to add to the Champions League, Primera Division and Copa del Rey crowns they have already collected this year.
Arsenal secretary David Miles admits drawing Barcelona in the Champions League is the last thing fans would have wanted.
The Gunners have beaten the defending champions just once in seven meetings and even that was not enough to prevent an aggregate defeat in the knockout stages in 2011, their most recent encounter.
"On the back of the great win in Athens we were hoping for a good draw today and I think it's the tie of the round," Miles told BT Sport.
"It's not going to be easy and it's the team that most Arsenal fans would have wanted to avoid at this stage but it's up to us to make a good fist of it.
"We've got our own world-class players and certainly we'll go in for this.
"It should be two fantastic games and we're very much looking forward to it."
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