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Barcelona held by Getafe, Sevilla snatch a win

12 February 2018

They trail second-place Atletico by nine.

With Barcelona pushing for a stoppage time victor, it was Getafe that nearly secured the three points when, in the dying seconds, they forced a free kick in a unsafe place.

Arguably the most encouraging element of Barcelona's performance was a classy full-debut from Yerry Mina at centre-back, made all the more impressive by left-back Lucas Digne being played out of position alongside the Colombia global at the heart of defence. Only Atletico Madrid and Barcelona have allowed fewer goals than Getafe.

Getafe goalkeeper Vicente Guaita made a fine save in stoppage time to prevent Suarez heading in a late victor as Barca missed out on the chance to re-establish their nine-point lead at the top. The reigning champions are still 17 points adrift of Barcelona, albeit with a game in hand.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho all start for Barcelona although things look less usual at the back.

Getafe are unbeaten in their last four matches and will take heart from narrowly succumbing to a late Paulinho goal in the reverse fixture - a 2-1 defeat in September.

The Blaugrana were held to a stalemate by Jose Bordalas's charges at Camp Nou on Sunday, failing to register a shot on target during the first half.

Valverde said: "Dembele's a player that we have high hopes for, as I have said many times since we signed him".

Midfielder Andre Gomes returned from a gastric virus in the second-leg win over Valencia but he lasted just 45 minutes before being substituted while Ousmane Dembele remains out with a muscle injury.

With Thomas Vermaelen out, Colombian worldwide centre-back Yerry Mina could make his first start since signing from Palmeiras last month. Madrid won 5-2 at home to Real Sociedad on Saturday as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick for the first time this season.

Pique played over 80 minutes in Thursday's win against Copa del Rey semifinal win against Valencia despite picking up a knee injury at Espanyol last weekend.

However, Sergio Rico, who starred throughout the match with several sharp saves, spared his team-mate's blushes to deny Aday with a fine stop to his right and keep the score goalless at the break.

Barcelona held by Getafe, Sevilla snatch a win