A low shot from the Brazilian early in the match at El Molinon proved to be the difference as the Catalan giants move to the top of the Primera Division table
Barcelona collected three points courtesy of a 1-0 win over Sporting Gijon at El Molinon this evening, but the champions were far from their best.
A deflected effort from Adriano nestled into the corner early on after Xavi's thunderous long-range drive had rebounded off the post, and although Pep Guardiola's side never looked in danger, they struggled to further break down a well-drilled home side.
Barca's first league win under Guardiola had come at this ground in September, 2008, with a spectacular 6-1 success, and the Catalan giants began this match in familiar fashion with some excellent passing in midfield.
David Villa threatened against his former club with a fierce effort from the left, but saw his shot go just over the crossbar.
The Catalans then took the lead as Xavi struck the post with a powerful shot from distance, before Adriano followed up with a rebound and his effort took a deflection before nestling in the bottom right-hand corner of Juan Pablo's goal.
Barcelona continued to dominate the play after that, and Villa tested Juan Pablo with a fierce right-footed effort which the Sporting keeper did well to save low to his left.
The visitors were well on top and the home side showed their frustration in the 33rd minute when Nacho Cases brought down Sergio Busquets with a bad challenge, resulting in the first booking of the evening.
A minute later, Barcelona were appealing for a penalty as Lionel Messi was brought down in the box after making a run towards goal, but the referee remained unmoved.
Sporting almost levelled in the 41st minute, when David Barral took an elegant first touch in the Barcelona box, only for Eric Abidal to clear it before he could strike at goal.
The second half was a tepid affair, with neither side truly threatening.
The Catalans appeared to show some fatigue towards the end of the match as they began to squander possession, and they had to rearrange their back-line when Abidal went off with a suspected hamstring injury.
The away side created the last chance of the match when Messi’s shot towards goal found the feet of Dani Alves, only for the assistant referee to stop play for offside.
Barca were comfortable in the end, and move to the top of the table heading into the international break, with 14 points - the same total as Levante, who beat Betis earlier on Sunday.