Barcelona coach Luis Enrique praised his side following a hard-fought 1-0 success at Celta Vigo in La Liga on Sunday.
The Catalan giants came into the clash at Balaidos having seen bitter rivals Real Madrid cut their lead at the top of the table to one point with a 9-1 demolition of Granada.
Celta had beaten Barca 1-0 in the reverse fixture back in November, but this time it was Luis Enrique who got the better of his former club as Jeremy Mathieu nodded in Xavi’s free-kick in the 73rd minute.
It was a crucial goal on the back of a less-than impressive Barca performance, but the coach praised his players for grinding out the victory.
“It has cost a lot,” he said. “We believe that they are important points because of the difficulty [of the game].
“To win this way reinforces the squad and prepares us for what’s left.”
Matchwinner Mathieu added: “It was a difficult game, but sometimes matches are won with small details.
“Sometimes you have to suffer, but the three points are the most important thing.”