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SD Huesca vs Barcelona. Spanish La Liga.

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Huesca 0-0 Barcelona: Much-changed Barca held at basement club

Barcelona made 10 changes and handed three debuts ahead of Champions League quarter-final final second leg with Man Utd on Tuesday

Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by Huesca on Saturday
Image: Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by Huesca on Saturday

La Liga leaders Barcelona were held to a goalless draw by basement club Huesca on Saturday.

Coach Ernesto Valverde made sweeping changes to his line-up ahead of Tuesday's Champions League quarter-final decider against Manchester United.

With the title practically assured after last weekend's 2-0 win over Atletico, Valverde fielded a radically different side to the team that won 1-0 at Old Trafford in Wednesday's first leg, making 10 changes and handing three players their league debuts.

Jordi Alba discusses an incident with Malcom during Barcelona's draw
Image: Jordi Alba discusses an incident with Malcom during Barcelona's draw

Midfielder Riqui Puig was one of the debutants, and the 19-year-old produced the best moment of an uneventful first half, picking out Ousmane Dembele with a wonderful pass, but the forward dragged his shot wide.

Brazilian forward Malcom struck the post early in the second half, and team mate Carles Alena missed the target from the rebound in Barca's best spell after the interval, while substitutes Philippe Coutinho, Jordi Alba, and Arthur Melo could not improve the leaders' attacking threat when they came on.

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Huesca desperately needed a win to keep up their slim hopes of avoiding relegation, but they struggled to make much of an impact and stay rooted to the bottom of the standings with 25 points from 32 games.

Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid reduced the gap behind Barcelona to nine points by seeing off Celta Vigo 2-0 on Saturday with goals from strikers Antoine Griezmann and Alvaro Morata either side of half-time.

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Celta, hovering above the relegation zone and without top scorer and talisman Iago Aspas, also made things difficult for Diego Simeone's Atletico and forced goalkeeper Jan Oblak to make three impressive saves in the first half.

Alvaro Morata celebrates his goal in Atletico's 2-0 win over Celta
Image: Alvaro Morata celebrates his goal in Atletico's 2-0 win over Celta

Atletico took the lead against the run of play in the 42nd minute thanks to an unstoppable free kick from Griezmann, who smashed the ball into the top corner past Celta keeper Ruben Blanco.

The France forward turned provider in the second half, playing an incisive pass up to strike partner Morata, who coolly rounded Blanco before hammering into an empty net in the 74th minute.

Sevilla lifted their hopes of returning to the Champions League after they beat Real Betis 3-2 in a pulsating derby on Saturday to climb into fourth place.

Munir El Haddadi headed the home side in front midway through the first half in a typically raucous atmosphere at the Sanchez Pizjuan but Betis levelled early in the second period through Argentina international Giovani Lo Celso.

Franco Vazquez celebrates his goal for Sevilla
Image: Franco Vazquez celebrates his goal for Sevilla

Sevilla hit back soon after to re-take the lead in the 59th minute with a flying volley from midfielder Pablo Sarabia and Franco Vazquez promptly extended their advantage with a thumping drive from outside the area.

Cristian Tello set up a tense finale to the game by striking back for Betis in the 82nd minute with a sizzling free kick but Sevilla held on to record their first victory over their rivals in over two years.

Elsewhere, Alaves' winless streak reached four matches after losing 2-1 at Espanyol. They now sit in seventh place, having been fighting for a top-four finish and a Champions League spot until their recent slide.

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