Madrid: Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola refused to make excuses after seeing their historic winning streak of 16 consecutive league matches come to an end with a 1-1 draw at Sporting Gijon on Saturday.
David Villa struck on 79 minutes to salvage a point for Barcelona, five points ahead of Real Madrid at the top, and Guardiola said his team had no divine right to win and refused to blame the midweek international fixtures for their first dropped away points of the season.
"At Barca you have to go out and compete every three days and these players have shown they can do that millions of times. But we are not unbeatable," said Guardiola.
"We are not invincible and we can lose or draw like we did against Sporting. Just because we’re Barca doesn’t mean we should always win, we can lose or draw if that’s how it is. I am not satisfied with a point. If you don’t win it’s not a good result. I’d have been satisfied if things hadn’t gone as they did.
"I think Sporting played perfect, their coach Manolo (Preciado) approached the game well. We didn’t win but we did all we could to do so. It is not easy to attack against ten defenders."
Barcelona's run of 16 successive league wins had beaten the previous best of 15 set by the great Real Madrid side of the 1960/61 season and now they hope to bounce back with a positive result in Wednesday's Champions League last 16 first leg showdown against Arsenal in north London.
"I have no complaints. We go all around Spain showing people who we are and that is already enough," Guardiola explained. "The draw at Sporting has brought an end to the stunning run of sixteen consecutive league wins.
"When a run like that comes to an end you value it even more, because we have won at grounds like this. We should have to play in more places like this where the team plays for their lives. It’s terribly tough to have to compete with them."
Spanish World Cup star Villa scored a brilliant chipped equaliser late on against hometown club Gijon and admitted his old side, where he began his glittering career, had been better in some aspects.
"We managed to get a draw and we have to be happy with a point," said Villa. "Barcelona never settle for a draw because we always like to win, but it is true that Sporting were superior to us in certain aspects."
Sporting coach Preciado had described Barcelona as the best team on the planet before the game and praised his players for competing so valiantly.
"In the first half we went toe to toe with the best team in the world," said Preciado. "Getting a draw against Xavi, (Andres) Iniesta, (Lionel) Messi and so on is a real morale boost for us and I couldn't have asked for more from my players."