Barcelona boss Quique Setien admitted his side were unable to break through Real Madrid’s high pressing style in their 2-0 El Clasico defeat.
Second half goals from Vinicius Junior and Mariano Diaz secured the vital win for Zinedine Zidane’s side, who return to the top of La Liga.
Barcelona created a number of good chances in the first half, but the hosts improved after the break, and La Blaugrana were unable to hold them off.
“We played well in the first half, but not in the second,” he told a post match interview with Marca.
“Real Madrid has pressed up high up the pitch, and we have struggled to find a way through that.”
“We wanted to move the ball quickly, but they did not allow us to.”
“The result is disappointing, but it is not the end of the title challenge, there is a long way to go.”
The loss ends Barcelona’s fantastic recent record in El Clasico games in Madrid, with four consecutive league wins prior to tonight.
The Catalan side now trail Real Madrid by a point at the top, with 12 league games to go in the campaign.
Up next for Barcelona a home game against Real Sociedad, before they play host to Serie A side Napoli in their Champions League last 16 second leg.
Setien’s side are currently leading the tie on away goals, after Antoine Griezmann goal in Naples secured a 1-1 draw.