Barcelona's players accept they were not at their best for last night's victory over Real Madrid.

The win places Barca 12 points clear of Real in the Liga standings and midfielder Xavi said: "It was expected that Madrid would be defensive, therefore, we could not play our usual game. They made many mistakes, a sign that they were not very good.

"Anyway, we did not find our best. We were a little sluggish because Madrid did not leave spaces. Not much remains to say because we've not won the league."

Barca fullback Daniel Alves remarked: "Although we knew that Madrid was not at their best, they threatened us a lot. It was difficult because they were strong. With the suffering, we can also enjoy victories.

"The team was good, always believed in victory and we leave happy with this victory. There is still a long way in the league, but we are on the right track."