Barcelona coach Xavi was pleased with victory at Athletic Bilbao.
Raphinha struck for the 1-0 win at San Mames.
“It’s a massive victory in a very difficult game and three very important points,” Xavi said. “We took a step forward offensively in the first 70-75 minutes. In defence, everyone was spectacular, supportive and generous.
“This team gives their all and I’m proud of the way they compete. The courage reflected in someone like Gavi is spectacular, it moves me when you see 10 players come back from a corner.
“We need more patience, to be calmer, and also effectiveness. We had the chance to score the second goal. Ansu, Robert, Balde… We also lacked precision and we had too many unnecessary losses of the ball.
“This is San Mamés and here they put a lot of pressure on us. It’s not that we’ve got used to it, it’s just that we’ve suffered too much, it’s the script of many matches this season. We would like to win more comfortably, but we got a victory of character and one that is vital for the future of the league.”
Meanwhile, Xavi said he was “saddened” by the hostile atmosphere towards Barça as fans barracked his players over the Negreira investigation.
“I respect the San Mamés crowd, they have always treated me very well. I am surprised by the hostile atmosphere and it saddens me, I think that judging before time is not good for society.”