Published: Mon, February 12, 2018
World | By Paul Elliott

Barcelona Frustrated in Goalless Draw With Getafe; Valencia Wins Derby

Barcelona Frustrated in Goalless Draw With Getafe; Valencia Wins Derby

Diego Simeone's team hasn't been this close to the lead since previous year, when the gap was at six points in the 16th round.

Getafe returned to La Liga last summer and have been hard to beat in the Primera Division this term, losing narrowly to both Barcelona and Real Madrid at home before ending Valencia's unbeaten record back in December.

After Atletico Madrid pipped Malaga 1-0 on Saturday to close the gap to six points, Barcelona needed to respond with a win against Getafe.

Arguably the most encouraging element of Barcelona's performance was a classy full-debut from Yerry Mina at centre-back, made all the more impressive by left-back Lucas Digne being played out of position alongside the Colombia worldwide at the heart of defence.

Barcelona are cruising towards the Spanish title, and Getafe are unlikely to halt that march.

And ahead of Getafe's visit to the Nou Camp, head coach Valverde wants Barca to refocus.

The result leaves Levante teetering above the relegation zone in 17th place just two points ahead of Las Palmas in 18th.

"It's good news for us that these two players did quite well in a hard role", said Valverde.

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.

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

If anything they're more of a juggernaut than usual, with Philippe Coutinho joining the attack and Ousmane Dembele returning to health.

Barca were struggling to get hold of the contest, in part thanks to a series of robust Getafe challenges, and Mina was once again caught out when he played Angel onside, with the forward's attempt going narrowly wide via a deflection off the Barca man.

Girona missed a chance to open the scoring before halftime when Aday Benitez had his penalty shot saved by Sergio Rico.

Sevilla's victor came within seconds of the restart when Joaquin Correa raced onto Clement Lenglet's through ball and touched it past Girona goalkeeper Bono as Pablo Sarabia bundled home Bernando Espinosa's attempts to clear off the goal-line - with Rojiblancos' goalscorer remaining unclear.

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