Atletico Madrid captain Gabi says his side suffered after being made to chase the ball for 45 minutes against Barcelona on Saturday.
La Liga's top two clubs played out an even 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon to leave them separated by only goal difference at the summit of the table.
And Gabi says his team-mates worked very hard for their point against the champions and the Spaniard is delighted with their performance.
"We played the game the way we wanted," he told reporters. "It's hard to run after the ball for 45 minutes.
"We got what we wanted - to play against the best teams in La Liga right now. The game was as people expected and we're very happy.
"Both teams raised their game. We fight and are more defensive because they have more possession of the ball. It was a very clean game from both sides. We saw a lot of football and we're happy with it."
At the halfway point in the season, Barca and Atleti are level on points and the 30-year-old has vowed to keep fighting for the title.
He added: "We're carrying on neck-and-neck. We have done extraordinary things every game. It's very hard to do this in the second half of the season, but we'll try."