Barcelona started and finished strongly on Sunday night but sagged in between and drew 2-2 at less fashionable neighbours Espanyol to cling on to fourth place in La Liga.
“We didn’t play brilliantly, but we played well enough to win. The bad news is that we didn’t win,” said Barcelona coach Xavi.
Pedri gave Barcelona a second-minute lead but Sergi Darder levelled after 40 minutes and set up Raul de Tomas for a counter-attack goal after 64 minutes.
With time running out, Luuk de Jong headed an equaliser that saved a point for Barcelona, but they still end the weekend 15 points behind leaders Real Madrid.
They did edge past Atletico Madrid, who won on Saturday, on goal difference.
“In the end, we lost more ground,” added Xavi.
“We saved a point at the end, which is insufficient, but we are still in the race for the Champions League.”
Both teams started added time down to 10 after Barcelona’s Gerard Pique and Espanyol’s Nicolas Melamed tangled in the 90th minute and collected their second yellow cards.
In the sixth minute of added time, Luuk de Jong, a 62nd-minute replacement, leapt to meet a cross from Adama Traore and smash a header down and into the net.