Yes, the 2-1 win put the Blaugrana three points clear of their nearest rivals with a game in hand and the advantage in head-to-head record.
But there is far too much water to pass under this particular bridge before the Catalans can even think about a retention of the league trophy.
.@FCBarcelona beat @atletienglish 2-1 to go 3 points clear in Spain FULL #LaLiga standings: https://t.co/po3eicSc5l https://t.co/0yfVxOQpa22016-1-30 17:11:28
The way in which Barca went about negating Atleti's overly physical approach deserves endless kudos, however.
Diego Simeone's side are well-known for playing right on the edge, and there's always a chance this can spill over.
But let's not forget it's a contact sport, and as long as the challenges are within the laws of the game and the bounds of acceptability, then let them play on. The sanitisation of football to some extent has to take a back seat on such occasions.
Until Lionel Messi had equalised Koke's fabulous opener for the visitors, the Rojiblancos were on top in the game, both in a footballing and physical sense.
You couldn't say Barca were frightened as such, just perhaps not up for the fight.
That all seemed to change once the hosts were in front and after Filipe Luis almost finished Messi's season. A few inches lower and his challenge might well have broken the Argentinian's leg.
Luis Enrique's reaction on the sidelines told us everything.
Sergi Domínguez @FutbolSergi
I *think* Luis Enrique wasn't happy with Filipe Luis' challenge on Messi. https://t.co/qZ2UyrYzcB2016-1-30 15:56:33
In that one moment, it was roll-your-sleeves-up time. Go hard or go home. Barca would need to dig deep and accept the battering if they wanted the win.
BeIN Sports' Christian Vieri suggested in live half-time analysis the player should be banned for 10 weeks because "you can't play football like this."
Ken Early @kenearlys
bein sports' christian vieri on felipe luis' foul: "he's gotta get ten weeks. change country, go somewhere else. you can't play like this"2016-1-30 15:54:52
Diego Godin's second yellow was unfortunate, falling for countryman Luis Suarez's clever play in getting to the ball first.
With Neymar also consistently the target of the opposition hard men, as he has been during the last few games, it's a wonder how Barca haven't got an injury list as long as your arm.
They still play the sweetest type of football when given licence, but we can see the change-up to something a little more industrial if the situation requires it.
Teams are no longer getting the better of the Blaugrana in a physical battle and are having to resort to crude challenges in their place.
If there were a discussion to be had as to how to beat the Catalans, it would probably revolve around the fact Barca had a bit of a soft underbelly. Not anymore.
Lucho has them playing in his own style: combative, competitive and, when needed, angry.
The energy and tempo with which his team continues to play is astonishing. This was their ninth and final game of a tough January, with eight more fixtures to come in February. One game every three days for the opening two months of 2016.
It's certainly an interesting run of games too. Per Barca's official site, the two home league fixtures will mirror Saturday's match because neither Sevilla nor Celta Vigo will be coming to the Camp Nou to make up the numbers.
FC Barcelona @FCBarcelona
[FIXTURES] Sporting Gijón v FC Barcelona on Wednesday 17 February at 6.30pm CET https://t.co/VmAxVCTFVR https://t.co/GLS42ontwo2016-1-19 15:35:55
It is a brutal schedule, and it could be a bruising one, but in taking on Atleti at their own game and winning, the Catalans have shown they've got what it takes to last the distance.