Barcelona coach Luiz Enrique was left ruing wasted chances following a hapless draw at Getafe’s Coliseum Alfonso Pérez on a rainy Saturday afternoon.
The Catalans ended a frustrating afternoon in Madrid four points behind leaders Real Madrid having spurned 23 attempts, without finding a breakthrough in a dominant display. Hence, Atletico Madrid could go level on points with Enrique’s side if they beat Villarreal on Sunday.
“There’s a long way to go yet,” said an optimistic Enrique. “We had a four-point lead before and now it’s the other way round. We have to accept things and try to improve.”
Barca were without one of their worthy but injured marksmen Neymar, paving way for Pedro to fill in. Luis Suarez was at his predatory best contributing to a quarter of his side’s chances, yet came up against brick wall in form of a resolute defence from Cosmin Contra’s men.
Angel Lafita had one of all four chances Getafe mustered but Claudio Bravo was equal to the task in the opening 45 minute and their other notable sight at goal failed to beat the referee’s final whistle, as Alvaro Vasquez almost snatched a late victory.
Much of the second-half proceedings nested in the hosts half. Lionel Messi could have broken the deadlock from a dead-ball situation, had one of his two free-kicks not struck the woodwork. Andre Iniesta almost salvaged Barca’s best chance in the closing stages, when he struck from outside the area but Brazilian defender Naldo timely cleared the ball from danger.
Despite the disappointment, Enrique was positive in his post-game analysis, stressing it would have been a “good game” had any of his team’s chances “materialised”.
“We attacked their goal an infinite number of times in the second half and created plenty of chances to score,” Enrique said.
“I am not unhappy with my players. They fought from the very start. We knew it would be difficult. I don’t think we gave away a single minute. We tried to play the best game we possibly could.”