Barcelona needed goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to put in a superb performance as it still dropped points in a 0-0 draw at Athletic Bilbao in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Barcelona left San Mames Stadium six points ahead of Real Madrid, which moved past Atletico Madrid into second place by winning the capital derby on Saturday.
Lionel Messi returned to Barcelona’s starting lineup after playing just the final half-hour against Madrid in their midweek 1-1 draw in the Copa del Rey. Messi had been doubtful for that cup match after an unspecified leg injury picked up last weekend.
Ter Stegen made one-handed saves to deny Markel Susaeta and Inaki Williams in each half.