Barcelona head coach Luis Enrique was happy to win ugly after claiming a forgettable 1-0 triumph over Granada in LaLiga.
The defending champions are up to second in the standings behind Real Madrid after Rafinha scored the only goal of the game against Lucas Alcaraz’s men, who remain winless and rooted to the bottom of the table.
Barca lacked their usual fluency, with captain Andres Iniesta heading the list of injury absentees as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar chalked up a rare collective failure in front of goal.
“We lacked freshness but it is always difficult to beat a team with 10 players behind the ball,” Luis Enrique told reporters, with attention now turning towards Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Manchester City.
“[Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre] Ter Stegen has not participated in the game but at 1-0 the match is open.
“I am happy with the three points. We are going in the right direction in LaLiga and in the Champions League but with the idea of improving.
“I will stick with the point, even though it was not our best day. I have seen a team with enough attitude to quickly retrieve the ball and one mature enough to close the match defensively.
“I would have liked to win by a landslide but you cannot make that happen in all games.”
Rafinha now has five goals in six LaLiga appearances this season and Luis Enrique confirmed there is onus on him to get into the penalty area and support Barcelona’s celebrated attacking trio.
“I’m not surprised by his performance,” he added. “He’s having more success coming into the area from the second line, which is what we ask of the midfielders.
“You have three players up front who are unusual, but we ask this of the second line. They must keep coming.”