Barca took advantage of playing before their title rivals this weekend by beating Osasuna 3-0, moving within three points of Zinedine Zidane’s side.
Lionel Messi scored twice after Luis Suarez had opened the scoring in the second half, but Luis Enrique felt the match should have been wrapped up before half-time.
“We were aware of the difficulty of this game,” the Barca coach said after his side ended a run of three consecutive draws in the league.
“It was key to get the first goal and it cost more than normal.
“In the first half we had a lot of chances. In fact, in the first half alone we deserved a comfortable victory.
“I’m happy with what I saw. We were the superior side.
“It’s about improving our performances [now] to try to put pressure on the leaders, Real Madrid.”
Striker Luis Suarez also sent a message to Madrid as Barca look to eat into Los Blancos’ lead at the top of the table heading into the new year.
“We won’t give up,” he warned.
“We are Barca and Barca always put up a fight. Whether six, seven or eight points [behind Madrid], we are a team that always fights.”
With Real Madrid heading off to take part in the FIFA Club World Cup, Barcelona have four games befoe Real return to domestic action on January 15. If Barca win them all, Real will kick off away to Sevilla on January 15, six points behind Barcelona. What will that do to Zidane’s side psychologically?