Barcelona misfired once again as the LaLiga leaders were held to a goalless draw at Getafe on Sunday.
The Blaugrana failed to score in a third consecutive game in all competitions, although they remain well on course for the title with an 11-point advantage over second-placed Real Madrid.
Raphinha and Alejandro Balde hit the woodwork in the first half of a frustrating game for toothless Barca at Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Battling Getafe were good value for a hard-earned point in their battle to avoid relegation.
Getafe posed questions of the Barca defence early on, and former Camp Nou forward Munir El Haddadi headed just wide before Sergi Roberto was replaced by Eric Garcia due to a hamstring injury.
The Blaugrana had another let-off when Enes Unal rose to meet a corner but headed over the crossbar from close range, and Getafe were almost behind moments later, having been caught out by a long ball down the middle.
Raphinha raced clear after the ball bounced over the top of the Getafe defence, and after the winger’s effort struck the post, Balde followed up to hit the same upright.
Barca raised the tempo after the break, and Robert Lewandowski was narrowly off target when he met Jordi Alba’s whipped cross with a glancing header.
Raphinha bent a free-kick from long range over the crossbar, and with Getafe doing a good job of containing the leaders, Xavi sent on Ansu Fati and Ferran Torres midway through the second half.
David Soria produced a brilliant save diving to his left to keep out a rasping drive from Raphinha, and Gavi fired wide, yet Borja Mayoral should have snatched all three points at the other end when he drilled wide late on.
What does it mean? Barca’s mini-blip continues
With nine games to go, Barca are well on course to dethrone Madrid, but they lacked a cutting edge again as only three of their 15 shots were on target.
They have still lost just two LaLiga matches this season, though, and this was their 22nd clean sheet in 29 matches.
Getafe moved another point closer to safety, with this the third consecutive home game against Barcelona in which they have not conceded a goal.
Persistence does not pay off for Raphinha
Raphinha looked the most likely to break the deadlock and came agonisingly close when he hit the post after racing clear in the first half.
The former Leeds United man had five attempts, with Soria producing a superb save by beating away the only one that hit the target.
Lewandowski out of sorts
Lewandowski has scored 27 goals in his first season with Barca, but the Getafe defence kept him relatively quiet.
The Poland captain was a long way from his brilliant best, having four shots but lacking sharpness as he was kept under wraps.
Barca face third-placed Atletico Madrid at Camp Nou next Sunday, when Getafe travel to Mallorca.
- Soccer News Like
- Be the first of your friends!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Soccernews.com is news blog for soccer with comprehensive coverage of all the major leagues in Europe, as well as MLS in the United States. In addition we offer breaking news for transfers and transfer rumors, ticket sales, betting tips and offers, match previews, and in-depth editorials.
You can follow us on Facebook: Facebook.com/soccernews.com or Twitter: @soccernewsfeed.