Barcelona were held to a goalless draw at Getafe on Sunday as their winless run in all competitions stretched to three games.
Javi Hernandez’s side remain 11 points clear of Real Madrid at the top of La Liga, but their run for a first league title since 2019 has been slowed by back-to-back league stalemates.
Getafe, who came close to winning the game late on through Borja Mayoral, moved four points clear of the relegation zone after Coliseum Alfonso Perez held the leaders.
– Stream on ESPN+: La Liga, Bundesliga, more (US)
1. Lack of creativity of drab bursa
Barca never looked like breaking down a resilient Getafe side as their scoreless streak in all competitions reached 290 minutes. They have not found the back of the net since the 70th minute of their 4-0 win over Elche on 1 April. Since then, they lost 4-0 to Madrid in the Copa del Rey and drew goalless with Girona in the first. And now Getafe.
Sunday’s game once again highlights the importance of Barca players who are currently absent. Robert Lewandowski and Rafinha led the attack — both forced saves from David Soria and the Brazilian hit the post — but neither has stepped up to the grade in recent weeks. The absence of Pedri, Frenkie de Jong, Ousmane Dembele and Andreas Christensen is telling.
Pedri’s rate is particularly notable for Barca. Lewandowski is certainly feeling the midfielder’s lack of creativity. With Pedri in the team, the Polish striker averages 0.6 goals per 90 minutes and 2.7 shots. Without him, those numbers drop to 0.2 and 1.5, respectively. Pedri could return next week, when Barca invite Atletico Madrid to Camp Nou. Despite their lead over top-placed Madrid, they could really help retain the league title with a win.
Ansu and Ferran’s futures at Camp Nou look increasingly uncertain. At Getafe, despite the absence of several players. Xavi preferred to leave them both on the bench in favor of playing two left-backs, with Alejandro Balde leading Lewandowski and Rafinha in attack alongside Jordi Alba.
With Barca chasing a goal, Ansu, making his 100th appearance for the club, and Ferran were both introduced for the final 20 minutes. Ansu played on the left and Ferran in midfield, just outside Lewandowski. Neither has been able to influence the game, though, and rumors will continue to swirl about what awaits the two forwards after the summer.
3. Valuable points for Getafe below
They had their chance at Getafe. Former Barca forward Munir El Haddadi sent in an early header and Mayoral made a good opening late in the game. However, Quique Sanchez Flores’ side will settle for a draw against the La Liga leaders ahead of the game.
It’s a deserved point and one that moves them four points clear of the drop zone. Perhaps more importantly, it will boost their confidence ahead of three season-defining games. They are followed by relegation rivals Mallorca, Almeria and Espanyol.
Best and worst performers
David Soria, GK, Getafe: The saves you’d expect him to make from Lewandowski and Rafinha were enough to stand out in a match lacking in quality.
Rafinha, FW, Barcelona: came closest to breaking the deadlock, hitting the post and forcing a late save from Soria. Was angry about being picked up late.
Luis Milla, MF, Getafe: An impressive performance from the midfielder, who did well with and without the ball.
Gavi, MF, Barcelona: Was booked in the first two minutes and completed just 11 passes throughout the game — a surprisingly low amount for a Barca midfielder.
Jules Kaunde, DF, Barcelona: Moved from centre-back to right-back, where his end product was often lacking in the final third.
Robert Lewandowski, FW, Barcelona: His form since the World Cup has been a concern, although it is also true that he has not been receiving good service.
Highlights and notable moments
Some fans climbed the treetops to catch a glimpse of the match.
These fans climbed a tree to watch Getafe vs. Barcelona. pic.twitter.com/uLCSq1oOOy
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 16, 2023
Ansu Fati has scored a century for Barcelona.
Games for 💯 @Ansufati!
Congratulations, Ansu 👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/tPe1AArSJo
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) April 16, 2023
Barca’s poor run of form continues as they sit 11 points clear of Real Madrid with nine matches remaining.
Getafe 0-0 Barcelona
Second straight draw in La Liga and third straight goalless game for Barca 😳 pic.twitter.com/NAh2aSRgfK
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) April 16, 2023
After the match: What the players/managers said
Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen: “It doesn’t seem like a great point. We had a good chance in the first half. Fighting normal games here – a dry pitch – it’s tough. You have to be clinical in this match. They fight for everything, it’s really tough. They have a good chance too. was.”
Barcelona head coach Xavi Hernandez: “The pitch held us back. We expected it, we trained on a dry pitch on Saturday. It’s hard to play here and it’s not good for philosophy. The ball gets stuck, it’s even worse for Getafe. It’s fundamental that the pitch is in good condition. But that’s no excuse. No and we have to get back on track. A point isn’t the worst considering how uncomfortable it was.
“We’re having a good season in La Liga but we can’t sleep now. We have important games coming up. I hope we have two or three players back next week. It’s not an excuse, we have a good squad and I’m satisfied. From there though, We have to reduce injuries and bring players back.”
Getafe manager Quique Sanchez-Flores: “They (pitches) want to be quick, watered… I understand. We do what we have to do. We know it also hinders the quick counters, which we have in our locker, but we have to do what we have. All
“We had our chances. Barca dominated the game but we kept good shape in defense and were quick in attack.”
Key Stats (provided by ESPN Stats & Data)
– Barcelona have finished in the first half of 24 of their 29 La Liga matches this season, including 5 of their last 6.
– Barcelona: Failed to score in consecutive La Liga games for the first time since May-August 2022.
– Barcelona: Its nine goals conceded this season are the fewest in Europe’s top five leagues (the next teams have 20 — Atletico and Lazio, entering Sunday).
Getafe: Their fight to avoid the relegation zone continues with the trip to Mallorca on April 23.
Barcelona: Back at the Camp Nou on 23 April, Xavi’s side faced third-placed Atlético Madrid (Stream the match on ESPN+, 10:15 a.m. ET)
Following that game, The Blaugrana Go to Rayo Vallecano on April 26.