A disallowed Luis Suarez goal summed up a frustrating afternoon for Barcelona as the leaders of La Liga dropped points for the second week running after a 0-0 stalemate with Getafe on Sunday.
After needing a late equaliser to grab a point in the Catalan derby at Espanyol last weekend, Barca could not break down a well-organised Getafe side, who showed why they have the third-best defensive record in the league.
In irresistible form in front of goal in 2018, Suarez had the ball in the net just before half-time with a great finish from a Lionel Messi free-kick, but the home celebrations were cut short by the offside flag.
Ernesto Valverde’s side remain unbeaten in La Liga after 23 games, extending their longest run without losing from the start of a campaign.
However, they are now only seven points clear at the summit from Atletico Madrid, who won 1-0 at Malaga on Saturday with an early Antoine Griezmann goal. The Rojiblancos visit the Camp Nou in three weeks.
“We don’t like to draw at home, but that’s football. Our opponents defended really well and we were unable to score,” Valverde told beIN Sports.
“Maybe we lacked a bit of spark, that’s possible. It is strange for us not to score here at our stadium.”
With Samuel Umtiti banned, Thomas Vermaelen not fit and Gerard Pique only on the bench, Valverde handed a first start to January signing Yerry Mina and partnered him in central defence with Lucas Digne.
That pair were rarely overly troubled, but at the other end Valverde’s decision to bring both Paco Alcacer and Philippe Coutinho into the line-up did not have the desired impact.
They both lasted just over an hour, with Coutinho forcing a fine save from Guaita from a curling strike in the 58th minute.
Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini came on towards the end to make his debut for Getafe, who are 10th.