The victory moved Barca five points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga after Carlo Ancelotti's team could only manage a 2-2 draw away to Osasuna.

And Martino lamented the fact that La Liga will shut down for two weeks after his side visit Getafe next Sunday.

"It is a shame that the league will stop because we are in good form. After playing against such a difficult opponent and playing three very good games in a row, I wish we could postpone Christmas," he said.

Neymar was once again the star of the show in the injured Lionel Messi's absence as he opened the scoring from the penalty spot and then slotted home the winner 22 minutes from time after Mateo Musacchio had brought Villarreal level.