Jeremy Mathieu admitted the international break affected Barcelona following their 1-0 victory over Celta Vigo on Sunday.
The defender followed up his goal against Real Madrid in the Clasico a fortnight ago with the winner at Balaidos to preserve his side’s four-point lead atop La Liga.
“It was a tough game. After the international break, it’s always more difficult because the [team] dynamics always drop a bit,” he said after the game.
“Celta were better in the first half and in the second we profited from a free kick. Sometimes you win and by small details.
“Sometimes games are won by suffering. Barca have suffered this year but the most important thing is the three points.
“I’ve now scored two very important goals and I’m happy. [Gerard Pique] is at a very high level. Playing alongside him makes things easier.
“The players are fresher because there’s many players here. It’s very important for the end of the season. Now we move on [to our next match].”