Lionel Messi’s first-half leveller rescued a point as Barca were forced to settle for a 1-1 draw at Valencia on Sunday.
Ezequiel Garay opened the scoring after just 79 seconds while the defender then marshalled Valencia’s defence superbly.
Barca are second, a point behind new leaders Sevilla, but are winless in their last four league games.
The only win in the last five outings came in Wednesday’s 4-2 Champions League victory against Tottenham at Wembley but midfielder Rakitic is not looking for excuses.
He told Eleven Sports: “I don’t want to use it as an excuse but obviously we have been playing lots of games and long journeys but that’s football at this level. We are really motivated and really looking forward to the next game.
“I thought we played very well and deserved more. It’s very difficult, you’ve got get back into a game when that happens (conceding a goal early) but we showed great spirit. We’ll take the positives and look forward to the next game.
“It’s a shame for all the work the team is putting in we’re giving our rivals this advantage.
“The league looks really good. It’s nice to see we’re all there at the top, it shows you have to work really hard every match.
“I was really impressed with the way we played. We’re happy we didn’t lose but a little bit disappointed with a draw.”
Barca battled back from conceding a sloppy opener in the second minute when Garay bundled in at the far post after Thomas Vermaelen failed to deal with a corner.
Messi grabbed his 11th goal of the season when he fired in from 20 yards after swapping passes with Luis Suarez.
The Spanish television show are reporting that tensions between the pair are said to have grown in wake of Blaugrana’s recent poor form, which has seen the Catalan club draw two and lose one of their last three La Liga games.
Pique is apparently not happy that club captain Messi rarely speaks to the media, particularly when things are going wrong for the club.
“Pique is critical of Messi for not facing up (to the press) when the going gets tough,” the programme claimed on Monday.
“He feels that Leo only talks when he’s not in Europe, with Argentina.”
Messi, meanwhile, is said to have hit back at the Spanish defender by pinning the blame for Barcelona’s current run of poor results on the Blaugrana backline.
“He has told him that they’re letting in too many goals; he has made it apparent to Pique that (he thinks) the defence is not offering the protection it should.”
The Whites failed to break Diego Simeone’s men down on home soil, as Los Rojiblancos extended their unbeaten record to six straight league matches at Los Blancos’ HQ.
The hosts dominated the game, particularly in the second-half, and had 66 per cent of the possession as well as more shots on goal and on target.
And while Atletico were arguably the better side in the first period, Carvajal believes Diego Simeone’s men played for a draw and were all too happy to frustrate their more illustrious neighbours and waste time.
“For them (Atletico) a draw is gold,” the 26-year-old told reporters post-match.
“Each team play however they want, but when a team wasted time from the first minute and is happy with a draw then it is hard to win.
“I will sign up for not winning (against them) in the Bernabeu ever and to keep winning titles.”