Ernesto Valverde praised Antoine Griezmann's performance in the forward's return to Atletico Madrid as Barcelona claimed a 1-0 win on Sunday.
Facing his former club for the first time, Griezmann struggled to have an impact at the Wanda Metropolitano, where Lionel Messi's 86th-minute goal proved decisive.
Griezmann has scored five goals and provided three assists in 18 games since joining Barca from Atletico for a reported €120million in July.
The forward was again backed by Valverde, whose team returned to the top of the table with their hard-fought win.
"He looked good. It was a tough game for him. It's difficult when you face players you have played alongside for many years," the Barcelona head coach told a news conference.
"He was whistled a little bit. He was fighting and working hard. He had a really good chance and could maybe have controlled the ball better. It's something that happens when you come back to a place where you spent so long for the first time.
"That was what happened to Griezmann. He fought to overcome it and I think he played well."
Barcelona have won five straight games in all competitions and host Real Mallorca in LaLiga on Saturday.