February 22, 2018

Barcelona held by Getafe, Sevilla snatch a win

12 February 2018, 10:57 | Taylor George

Ousmane Dembele fit again to play for Barcelona after month-long layoff as Ernesto Valverde's side prepare for La Liga clash with Getafe

Valverde: Barcelona need to be careful with Dembélé

La Liga leaders Barcelona failed to break down Getafe in a tiresome 0-0 league draw on Sunday, leaving the Catalans seven points clear at the top of the table.

Club captain Iniesta came off the bench during the second half but was unable to inspire a breakthrough as Pepe Bordalas' side defended diligently and goalkeeper Vicente Guaita excelled when called upon.

Gerard Pique missed training on Saturday but has been included in the Barcelona squad for Sunday's league game against Getafe and should be fit to face Chelsea in the Champions League.

Getafe will be eager to capitalise on any potential fatigue in the Barcelona ranks and extend their four-match unbeaten run.

Atletico's 1-0 win over Malaga, settled by an Antoine Griezmann strike after just 40 seconds, means Diego Simeone's side reduce the gap by two points.

Barca were underwhelming against their mid-table opponents, failing to register a shot on target during a first half when Luis Suarez had a goal correctly ruled out for offside. The Rojiblancos visit the Camp Nou in three weeks.

"After tomorrow's game we have a long week with time to recover from our efforts in January". "We will have to work hard to win this league".

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Barcelona's coach, Ernesto Valverde, arranged a makeshift defensive back line that featured the typical fullback pairing of Roberto and Alba, but a center back combination of young Yerry Mina and Lucas Digne.

"We struggled to play with pace and continuity", he added.

"We are going to find many teams that are going to make our lives impossible".

Mina was caught out, both in possession and positionally, early on but otherwise looked assured as well as being a threat at set-pieces.

Valencia move up to third on 43 points, a point ahead of Real Madrid having played a game more than the title holders.

Sevilla is sixth in the standings, one point behind Villarreal.

Sevilla defeated Girona 1-0 with a victor by Pablo Sarabia early in the second half at Sanchez-Pizjuan stadium.

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