Having been criticised for their troubled away form in the league this campaign, Guardiola's side responded in devastating style with an impressive 4-1 victory away at Málaga with Lionel Messi the star of the show.
The Argentine international and Ballon d'Or winner notched a fantastic hat-trick to take his league tally to 22 goals in only 19 appearances. Alexis Sanchez added the other while Venezuelan striker Rondón snatched a late consolation for the hosts.
Xavi, Carles Puyol and Cesc Fabregas were omitted from the starting line-up with Pep Guardiola clearly having one eye on his side's second-leg tie with Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night.
Alexis Sanchez was the first to test Willy Caballero's goal when he latched onto Thiago Alcantara's right wing cross but his header was easily thwarted. Messi had a shot deflected wide before Isco forced Victor Valdes to make a stylish acrobatic save. The Barcelona stopper was then on hand to deny Isco twice from the resulting corner as Barcelona clung on to their clean sheet.
Barcelona pushed forward but could not quite find the killer ball until Messi took the game by the scruff of the neck. In the 32nd minute, he took possession of the ball midway inside the Málaga half and passed the ball to Iniesta who sent a ball out to the far left to Adriano who floated a ball into the box which Messi met after he had continued his run, rising highest and planting a header into the far corner of the net.
Barcelona grabbed a second goal minutes after the break to put them thoroughly in control of the contest. Iniesta burst forward and released Thiago on the edge of the box whose low drive was parried by Caballero. Adriano picked up the rebound and squared to Thiago who was once again denied by the Málaga goalkeeper who parried the ball into the path of Sanchez and there was no mistake this time as he rifled the ball home.
Messi made it 3-0 only a few moments later when he embarked on one of his typical slalom dribbles, gliding past three defenders before shooting with his left foot across Caballero and into the far corner of the net. One moment's hesitance from the hosts had been deadly.
Messi then saw a superb freekick rattle the underside of the bar but the Argentine was not to be denied a hat-trick as his determined display was rewarded in the 81st minute. Málaga were guilty of trying to overplay inside the Barcelona half having committed too many men forward and Guardiola's side launched a sweeping counter-attack as Pedro broke up possession and fed Messi who ran clear of the defence from the half way line before calmly slotting into the far corner and earning the matchball.
Málaga did pull a goal back however minutes from time when Rondón finished from an acute angle after Valdes had palmed Recio's sweetly-struck shot into his path but it was scant consolation as Barcelona had dominated their opponents.
The result leaves them five points behind Real Madrid who defeated Athletico Bilbao by the same scoreline at the Bernabeu. The two sides face each other on Wednesday night to determine the semi-finalists for the Copa del Rey.