Barcelona stand-in coach Jordi Roura has highlighted the importance of David Villa to the team after the striker starred in Sunday's 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano.
The Spain international has struggled to replicate the form of previous seasons with the Blaugrana throughout the 2012-13 campaign, prompting speculation linking him with a move away from Camp Nou.
However, the 31-year-old has shown glimpses of his best in recent outings for the Spanish giants - including a goal and two assists in Sunday's win - and speaking to reporters, Roura praised the character of Villa to bounce back from the dip in form.
"I've always said that Villa is a very important player for us, and that his time would come. He's a special player, a goalscorer. He has been essential to us this week," he said.
"He has extraordinary quality, and playing well and scoring in a game as important as the one against Milan was a real psychological boost for him."
The 45-year-old coach also erred on the side of caution in discussing whether Barca's 13-point cushion at the summit of La Liga would be sufficient in securing the title.
"There's no denying that we're in a very good position, and each week we get a little closer. But nothing has been won yet. We have to take each game as it comes. I know that's a cliché, but it's true."