Barcelona's La Liga title bid suffered a blow as Luis Enrique's side were held to an unlikely 0-0 draw at Getafe on Saturday.
The Catalan giants found themselves frustrated for long periods of the game as Getafe held firm at the back and, although the visitors piled on the pressure towards the end, they failed to secure a ninth successive win in all competitions and now sit four points adrift of table-topping Real Madrid.
Fresh from beating Paris Saint-Germain 3-1 in the UEFA Champions League in midweek, Barca dominated possession throughout at a wet and windy Coliseum Alfonso Perez and kept Getafe camped in their own half for much of the match.
Both sides had penalty shouts rejected in the first period, while Barca came closest to breaking the deadlock when Lionel Messi saw a free-kick come back off the crossbar just after the break.
Luis Enrique threw men forward in search of a winner, with Messi and Xavi again almost making the crucial breakthrough.
But Barca's best efforts ultimately went unrewarded, as they failed to find a way past a stoic Getafe defence and keeper Vicente Guaita as the hosts claimed a hard-fought point.
After a quiet start in Madrid, Barca eventually crafted their first opportunity in the 18th minute, but Messi could only poke right at Guaita after pouncing on Ivan Rakitic's blocked effort.
Getafe escaped unscathed once again shortly after, as Luis Suarez steered Xavi's wayward shot just over the crossbar from six yards out.
Both sides then had penalty shouts denied by referee Inaki Bikandi, as first Getafe's Juan Valera and then Dani Alves - making his 200th Liga appearance for Barca - appeared to handle in their respective penalty areas.
Getafe seemingly grew in confidence as the first half progressed and Claudio Bravo was forced into action to keep Barca level in the 33rd minute, tipping Angel Lafita's fierce drive around the post in acrobatic fashion.
The visitors lacked their customary cutting edge in the final third, and Rakitic's 30-yard effort in the 41st minute seemed to signal their frustration, with the attempt going comfortably wide of the left-hand post.
Barca began the second half with renewed focus and came close to going ahead in the 47th minute, but Xavi could only get a slight touch on Rakitic’s lofted pass into the area, with Guaita saving comfortably.
And they went even closer shortly after, with the crossbar saving the helpless Guaita to keep out Messi’s curling free-kick.
The Argentinian troubled Guaita again from another free-kick in the 58th minute, as the goalkeeper parried the low effort away at his near post.
Getafe started to look desperate as the match entered its closing stages, but Barca were unable to open the home team up and had to settle for a disappointing draw - a result that will delight Getafe's neighbours Real.comments