Barcelona had a tough time in Sunday’s 2-0 win over Villarreal and Luis Suarez admits that the red card shown to Dani Raba helped them over the line.
The Uruguayan striker eventually broke the deadlock in the 72nd minute, with Lionel Messi grabbing a second soon afterwards, but only after Yellow Submarine forward Raba was sent off on the hour mark.
"We knew the pressure we had, because our rivals had won and that forced us to put in a good game and add three more points," Suarez said, via Mundo Deportivo.
"In the first half, we struggled to create clear chances, also Villarreal played well. After the break, we managed to improve.
"Villarreal are always a very difficult opponent here at home, and it is true that the first half was very even but, after the sending-off, we were able to create more chances."
Back-to-back draws in La Liga and the earlier wins for Valencia, Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid had put the pressure on Barca.
The win keeps them five-points clear at the top of the standings, and manager Ernesto Valverde said he felt the pressure to keep up the pace.
"It was a crucial and difficult game," he added. "We had to face a great team on a pitch where it's difficult to get points.
"They gave us a tough game, with problems in circulating the ball and danger on the counter-attack.
"We've kept up the winning run. We knew our rivals had won but we're always relying on ourselves. Regardless of rivals having won, before a game, you have to win. You prepare to win and that's that.
"If your rivals win, you have more pressure and you deal with that. After drawing at home [against Celta Vigo], we wanted to refocus with a victory."