Barcelona 0-0 Getafe: Hosts fail to score in La Liga for first time this season
By Kalika Mehta
Last Updated: 12/02/18 7:25am
Barcelona were held to their second successive draw in La Liga as Getafe put in an impressive defensive display to grind out a 0-0 stalemate at the Nou Camp.
It was the first time this season that Barcelona failed to score in a La Liga game, despite Lionel Messi returning the starting line-up, as the hosts failed to register a shot on target in the first half.
The visitors, without captain Jorge Molina who was benched in favour of Gaku Shibasaki, were resolute in defence and played well on the break without really testing Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Following Atletico Madrid's narrow victory over Malaga on Saturday, the draw sees Barcelona move seven points clear at the top of the table.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen (6), Roberto (6), Mina (7), Digne (6), Alba (6), Alcacer (6), Rakitic (5), Busquets (5), Coutinho (6), Messi (6), Suarez (6).
Subs: Iniesta (5), Dembele (5), Paulinho (n/a)
Getafe: Guaita (8), D Suarez (7), Bruno (7), Dakonam (7), Antunes (7), Fajr (6), Arambarri (6), Portillo (6), Shibasaki (7), Diedhiou (6), Angel (6).
Subs: Flamini (n/a), Molina (n/a), Cabrera (n/a)
Man of the match: Vicente Guaita
Despite a flush of fresh faces for the home side, Barca lacked intensity in front of goal but Luis Suarez had the ball in the back of the net just before half-time, only to be correctly ruled offside.
The La Liga champions looked a better side after the break and Philippe Coutinho came close to opening the scoring as his long-range effort was tipped wide by goalkeeper Vicente Guaita.
Debutant Yerry Mina saw his header pushed over the bar by the impressive Getafe shot-stopper as the hosts searched for the breakthrough.
Barcelona made five changes as Lionel Messi returned to the starting line-up with Valverde opting to go for three up front. Ivan Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Jordi Alba and Yerry Mina all also came in as Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Andrea Iniesta and Paulinho made way. Getafe made just one change as captain Jorge Molina dropped to bench with Gaku Shibasaki taking his place.
With Messi and Suarez not enjoying much joy in front of goal, the visitors began to look more dangerous on the break, with Angel beating the offside trap on a couple of occasions - shooting narrowly wide on the second.
Ousmane Dembele returned from injury and replaced Coutinho after the hour but could not break down the resolute defence.
Man of the match - Vicente Guaita
The Spanish 'keeper did not have much to do in the first half but pulled off three impressive saves in the second, from Coutinho, Messi and Suarez to ensure his side came away with a deserved point.
Barcelona have a rare week off and will travel to Eibar next Sunday for their La Liga clash while Getafe will host Celta Vigo on the following Monday.