Barcelona drop points at home in goalless draw with Getafe





Barcelona – Barcelona were held to a 0-0 draw at home by Getafe on Sunday, meaning their lead at the top of La Liga was cut to seven points.



 
It was the first goalless draw in the league at the Camp Nou since November 2016 and allowed second-placed Atletico Madrid to make up ground after their win on Saturday.
Barcelona’s best chance came late in the second half when Luis Suarez’s header from Ousmane Dembele’s cross was tipped over by Vicente Guaita.
Former Borussia Dortmund winger Dembele came on as a second-half substitute and suffered a torrid time with misplaced passes and problems staying on his feet.
He had replaced another recent signing Philippe Coutinho, who also failed to trouble Getafe save for a curling second-half shot that Guaita pushed out for a corner.
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said: “This shows we still have work to do to win the league. We have always said there is a long way to go.”
Atletico could close the gap further when they visit the Camp Nou at the start of March.
Valverde added: “Getafe make it uncomfortable for the opposition. We were not at our best and we gave the ball away too much. We didn’t create as many chances as we would have liked.”
The Barcelona coach did point to his team’s recent run of midweek Cup games having taken something out of his squad. 
He said: “We would have liked the three points but picking up a point after a month in which we have reached the final of the Cup, there is a certain logic to it. We are not going to win all the games.”
One of the poorest aspects of Barcelona’s display was the nervous performance from substitute Dembele.
“He came on at a time when we wanted someone to get behind them and it didn’t happen as many times as we would have wanted but it’s still early for him,” said Valverde.
“It’s better that he tried things and they didn’t work, than just do the minimum without trying.”
Lionel Messi was subdued for the league leaders and Getafe coach Jose Bordalas said: “You can’t mark him individually. He’s the best player in the world but he is human and it is to our credit that we knew how to neutralize him.”
Earlier Sevilla moved back into sixth place in La Liga with a 1-0 win over Girona.
Pablo Sarabia scored the winner for the hosts in the first minute of the second half, pushing the ball over the line after Joaquin Correa’s effort had been blocked.
Sevilla goalkeeper Sergio Rico was their best player, making several saves including from Aday Benitez’s first-half penalty.
Later Celta Vigo play Espanyol and Valencia are home to neighbours Levante.

 


Sunday, February 11th 2018
By Pete Jenson,
           


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