But if they thought things would be any easier with goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen left out, they were in for a shock.
Ter Stegen is not only a superb shot-stopper, but also adept at starting attacks and operating as a sweeper-keeper behind a high defensive line. Whether he is the best in the world is a question of tastes and styles, bit there is no doubt he is ideal for Barca.
The German's progression saw Claudio Bravo leave the Catalan club in 2016 after the two men had alternated for two seasons following their arrival in the summer of 2014. And his fantastic form has also meant limited opportunities for Jasper Cillessen, who signed from Ajax in 2016 for an initial €13m.
One of those rare opportunities arrived last night as Cillessen started in a line-up which was essentially a second string for Barca, already confirmed as group winners irrespective of what happened in their game against Spurs.
Already at a disadvantage as he was playing behind an unfamiliar back four without Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba or Sergi Roberto, Cillessen denied Tottenham with a string of spectacular saves.
The first of those saw the 29-year-old get down low to keep out an effort from Heung-min Son in the first half when the South Korean looked certain to score. And in the second period, there were two more stunning stops to thwart Christian Eriksen and Lucas Moura.
Spurs eventually found their way through Moura with five minutes remaining and had the goal arrived earlier, Mauricio Pochettino's men may well have won the game. But Cillessen ensured that did not happen.
It was only his 24th appearance in three seasons at Barca and most of those have come in the Copa del Rey, with only two games played in La Liga and three in the Champions League.
Barca boss Ernesto Valverde was asked afterwards how he can keep his keeper happy with so few opportunities for the first team and whether the player would look to move on in the near future.
"It's a luxury to have Jasper with us," he said. "He could quite easily be first choice. Every time he plays, he is outstanding. We are so lucky to have both he and Marc.
"Will he leave? I don't know. He has a great level, but we need two top-level goalkeepers for all the games and the demanding aspirations we have. We want to win everything. I hope he stays, that he is happy, even if he plays less."
The question, perhaps, is where would he go? There are only a handful of elite clubs in Europe and Cillessen would only leave to be first choice. At the moment, there have not been any offers to tempt him away from Barcelona, but that could change in the summer.
Cillessen is a good age (29), is tall (1.85m), has 43 caps for the Dutch national team and is a complete, modern-day goalkeeper. As he showed last night, he is super shot-stopper, but he is also comfortable with the ball at his feet and has great technique for short or long passing.
One such delivery from deep set up Barcelona's first goal in the Copa del Rey final against Sevilla last season. It was a pass which only a few goalkeepers in the world could play, and yet he is not even first choice at his club.
After this, his third season at Camp Nou, he will be 30 years old and with Ter Stegen set to stay for the long haul at Barca, the Dutchman will surely seek a club where he can be a regular starter.
Be it next summer or after that, whoever does sign him will be getting a great goalkeeper, probably for a relatively low fee as well. Because while Barca are delighted to have him, Cillessen is too good to be spending most of his career on the bench.