Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde admitted his side were not at their best against Real Valladolid on Saturday.
A Lionel Messi penalty was the difference as Barça ended a run of three draws in all competitions to get back to winning ways.
"It was a hard-fought win, we had to suffer," Valverde said. "They were well set up. In the first half we were slow circulating the ball, we lacked clarity and were exposed on the break.
"In general, though, they didn't create chances. We did have chances, a [second] penalty to wrap it up. [Valladolid goalkeeper Jordi] Masip was very good. In the end, we had to suffer.
"The opposition also play but we weren't good. It's difficult to always shine and to create seven clear chances to win. With 3-0 or 4-0 we would be speaking in other terms, but we lacked speed in possession, that's true."
Barça now face Lyon away before games against Sevilla and Real Madrid (twice in a week). "Now come the key games and we're reliable there," Valverde added.