Pep Guardiola commended Sporting Gijon's 'good play' following Barcelona's narrow victory, which saw the Catalan club restore their position at the top of La Liga.
Although Sporting caused no alarms for Barca, the Primera División and European champions looked decidedly lacklustre against the bottom placed club in Spain's top tier.
A solitary goal from Adriano secured three points for Barca at the El Molinón, with Guardiola's side climbing above surprise package Levante on goal difference.
And the Barca boss admits Sporting made it hard for his team on Sunday evening, although the 40-year-old knew the Camp Nou outfit were always in control.
"There weren't any spaces because they kept it very tight," he said.
"We had a good first half an hour. After, we weren't brilliant because of Sporting's good play, but we were in control and they didn't have any chances against us."
Barca, meanwhile, will be without Eric Abidal for up to 10 days after the French defender limped off 10 minutes into the encounter in Gijon.
Scans have shown that Abidal has suffered a contracture of the right hamstring, and he may now miss France's Euro 2012 qualifiers against Albania and Bosnia.