La Liga Recap: Barcelona held to scoreless draw by Getafe

Philippe Coutinho

Philippe Coutinho

Barcelona are threatening to pull away with the La Liga title race, and only a run of good form from Atletico Madrid has kept them from truly ending the title race already.

Ernesto Valverde's hosts will be looking to secure three points to extend their lead at the top of the La Liga table.

Getafe have proven hard to beat this term on their return to La Liga, ending Valencia's unbeaten record in December and three successive draws - to Athletic Bilbao, Sevilla and Leganes - mean they sit in 11th place with 29 points from 22 games.

Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne are playing in central defence with injuries keeping Samuel Umtiti and Gerard Pique out. Only Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have allowed fewer goals than Getafe.

"You hope that games like this don't happen where you drop two points, but sometimes it happens and you have to get on with it, there is no other choice".

Philippe Coutinho finally managed to give Vicente Guaita some work in the 50th minute, although his well-struck, curling effort was too close to the Getafe goalkeeper.

Meanwhile, Ousmane Dembele came on in the second half for his first appearance since his latest spell on the sidelines, but the young France forward was also incapable of breaking down the Getafe back line.

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After needing a late equalizer to avoid defeat against crosstown rival Espanyol in the previous round, Barcelona couldn't find the net against midtable Getafe at Camp Nou Stadium.

It was the first time in six years that Barca had failed to register a shot on target in the opening half of a LaLiga game at the Nou Camp.

And Valverde is hoping Dembele, who has not played since January 14, can make an impact.

Getafe, 10th in the standings, has drawn four straight matches, losing only once in its last seven games.

Yerry Mina, who came off the bench against Valencia, is in line to make his full debut against Getafe regardless of Pique's fitness, with Valverde saying the Colombia global would be ready if called upon.

But, before that, Rico had intervened to prevent the home side going behind just prior to the interval, diving to his right to save an Aday Benitez penalty awarded for a handball by Luis Muriel.

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