(CNN) -- Teenage striker Bojan Krkic made full use of a rare starting opportunity to score two second half goals as Barcelona won 2-0 at Almeria on Sunday.
Bojan wheels away in delight after scoring in Barcelona's victory over Almeria.
Barca coach Pep Guardiola rested Samuel Eto'o and Thierry Henry to make way for the talented 18-year-old as Barcelona re-opened a six-point gap at the top over arch-rivals Real Madrid.
Real had responded to their Champions League thrashing at Liverpool by beating Athletic Bilbao 5-2 on Saturday to put the pressure on their rivals.
But, after a goalless first half in which Barcelona were in control, Bojan made the breakthrough in the 53rd minute.
Brilliant Argentine Lionel Messi hit the post with a shot and Bojan followed up to score. Three minutes later he finished off an excellent move, with Messi again involved, to seal the three points.
In other matches on Sunday, Atletico Madrid pulled back a two-goal deficit to score a crucial 3-2 win over Villarreal at the Vicente Calderon stadium.
The teams are battling for the fourth Champions League qualifying spot and victory for the visitors would have put them in a strong position.
But Uruguay star Diego Forlan atoned for missing a penalty by scoring the equalizer and Antonio Lopez headed an 83rd minute winner.
Javi Venta had put Villarreal ahead but was sent off in the second half to undermine his side's cause. They are now just two points ahead of Atletico.
Third-placed Sevilla fell nine points behind Real Madrid and 15 adrift of Barcelona after a disappointing 2-2 draw with Malaga who are challenging for a UEFA Cup spot.