The facts are, Peterborough United scored more goals than the opposition and picked up a fourth win in a row. Trying to dissect this Sky Bet League One fixture is a difficult challenge.
Yes, Posh scored another three goals (they are still the leading goalscorers in the Football League), yes it could have been more (Posh hit the post and bar during the second half) and yes it was a thrilling watch at times, but manager Graham Westley knows and readily admitted afterwards, that his side were not at it.
'The worst we have played', was his message to the Posh Player following the 90 minutes and although that is an indictment of the recent performances and the standards the players have set, you can see where he was coming from.
Posh were indebted to fine goalkeeping from Ben Alnwick, some terrific last ditch blocks by Michael Bostwick in particular and some wayward finishing although the Tykes did have a goal disallowed and hit the post, so luck was also on the side of the hosts.
However, despite all this, it was a fourth straight win and Posh are up to seventh ahead of the trip to Scunthorpe.
The home side produced a fine move inside the opening five minutes with Erhun Oztumer and Michael Smith both involved, the latter's low centre diverted wide of the near post by Lee Angol.
The visitors came close themselves moments later as one-time Posh loanee Lloyd Isgove delivered a fine centre onto the head of Marley Watkins, but the striker headed wide of the target.
Angol volleyed over the bar from a Washington centre on 10 minutes after more decent approach play involving Smith down the right.
Oztumer tested Davies with a curling effort after good work from Angol. On 25 minutes, the deadlock was broken as a strong run from Taylor saw him jink past two defenders and pick out ANGOL, he used his strength to hold off Mawson and then fired low through the legs of Davies.
Taylor saw a curler well claimed by goalkeeper Davies after cutting inside from the left as Posh continued to press.
A swift Posh counter attack nearly yielded a second goal as Oztumer picked out Taylor, he chested the ball down into space, advanced but then dragged his shot wide of the target.
The visitors were level on 38 minutes as debutant Addison was penalised for a foul in the box on Watkins and HOURIHANE stepped up to dispatch the penalty low and into the corner past Alnwick.
Watkins volleyed wide of the target on 48 minutes as the Tykes made a bright start to the second half at the ABAX.
The visitors had the ball in the back of the net on 50 minutes as Watkins headed home a Hammill free-kick, but the offside flag was raised and the celebrations were cut short.
Posh made a change on 57 minutes with Marcus Maddison replacing Oztumer. Barnsley were forced into a change on the hour mark with Isgrove limping out of the action, Winnall his replacement.
On 62 minutes, Posh got themselves back in front and it was the first involvement for Maddison, his corner met by ADDISON whose downward header bounced over Davies and into the back of the net.
Souleymane Coulibaly replaced Washington on 67 minutes as Westley made his second change of the evening.
Bostwick saw a powerful drive tipped around the post by Davies moments later, the save even more impressive as the shot took a huge deflection.
On 72 minutes, Posh made it 3-1 as substitute MADDISON collected a pass, moved onto his right-foot and saw his stinging shot deflected into the far corner.
The two-goal cushion didn't last long, a cross was headed onto his own bar by Addison, Alnwick then denied a WINNALL header, but could do nothing with the rebound as the Tykes reduced the arrears.
Pearson then dragged a shot inches past the post as the Tykes came close to a leveller. The visitors were reduced to 10-men on 82 minutes as Long was shown a straight red card for a horrible looking challenge on Beautyman.
Anderson received his fifth booking of the campaign for a late tackle on 87 minutes. An Angol deflected cross smacked the crossbar moments later with Maddison's follow up shot blocked.
Into six minutes of added time, Anderson struck the outside of the post after an intelligent cut-back from Elder.
Alnwick produced a stunning save four minutes into stoppage time, pushing a curler from Hammill around the post for a corner kick with Mawson firing over from the resulting set-piece.
Alnwick was at it again deep into stoppage time, pushing a low Hammill shot away, Smith was well placed to clear as Posh hung on.
Posh: Alnwick, Smith, Elder, Addison, Bostwick, Taylor, Forrester (sub Beautyman 75min), Oztumer (sub Maddison 57min), Anderson, Washington (sub Coulibaly 67min), Angol. Unused subs: Henry, Fox, H. Anderson, Samuelsen.
Barnsley: Davies, Bree, Smith, Long, Hourihane, Watkins, Pearson, Hammill, Toney (sub Jackson 75min, sub Nyatanga 83min) , Mawson, Isgrove (sub Winnall 60min). Unused subs: Townsend, Roberts, Jackson, Smith, Warbara.
Half-time: Peterborough United 1-1 Barnsley
Full-time: Peterborough United 3-2 Barnsley
Attendance: 4,783 (284 Barnsley fans)