By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Celtic took a shock lead at Nou Camp in the 18th minute via Giorgio Samaras but failed to hold onto the lead as Andres Iniesta struck at the stroke of half time before Jordi Alba came up with a winning goal four minutes into injury time.
Vilanova was delighted with the never-say-die attitude of the players on the pitch.
"It says a lot about these players that they keep on trying until the end. They have already won everything, but they just keep on going," he said after the game.
"Lucky to win at the end? I think it was rather bad luck, that we couldn't finish it earlier. Before some said our game was boring, I don't think that's a problem anymore."
Barcelona's injury-plagued defence meant that Vilanova had to resort to drastic measures to plug the gap and he reserved praise for youngster Marc Batra, a full back by trade who was deployed to partner Javier Mascherano in the heart of defence.
Watch: Jordi Alba scores late winner in injury time... More Videos
"They told me more than a week ago Pique wouldn't get ready for the game. I knew since then that Bartra would play this one," Vilanova added.
"Bartra is a first-team player because I wanted it. We had the money to sign a centre-back last summer, but I told the club to save it."
Match-winner Jordi Alba was delighted with the victory, hailing his team mates who never gave up until the final whistle.
"We kept pushing until the end, I'm just happy I could score the goal. Qualification is looking good, but there are still three games yet to play.
"I was lucky to be in the right spot and to be able to touch the ball. We've tried to win this game until the end," he said.