Javier Mascherano has bemoaned the loss to Real Madrid, saying Barcelona were not smart enough.
Pique put Barcelona in front via a header, before Benzema scored the equaliser with a stunning overhead kick.
Real Madrid ran out winners, after Cristiano Ronaldo slotted in the winner with five minutes to go.
Mascherano lamented Barca’s inability to hold on in the final stages and rued their missed opportunities in front of goal.
“It’s a miserable feeling. We all wanted to win and take a better result, but we were not smart in those last 15 minutes,” the Argentina international told reporters.
“We failed to read that we had to control the possession more and not lose balls, and in the end we lost by two counter attacks. They beat us with two counter attacks.
“It’s a bitter feeling because we played well for 70 minutes. We didn’t take advantage of the best chances.”
Madrid’s win saw them move to within seven points of Barca with seven games left to play, while Atletico Madrid’s 5-1 win over Real Betis earlier in the day kept them in second place and six behind.
“These defeats make you grow and get better. We have to continue like up until now, because we have had a good phase,” Mascherano added.
“We have to continue until the end of the season because every game is important. One by one we are all here to fight to win titles.”