Barcelona held by Getafe, Sevilla snatch a win

Gerard Pique

Gerard Pique

The Catalans dominated 79 per cent of the possession against their mid-table opposition but were unable to break through, with Atletico Madrid now sitting seven points back of the league leaders.

For only the fourth time this season, Barcelona dropped points, drawing 1-1 with city rivals Espanyol.

Barcelona is coming off a Copa del Rey semifinals win over Valencia on Thursday.

Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and the rest of Barca's superstars failed to muster a shot on target during the first half and Valverde felt his players failed to adapt fully to the challenge presented by Pepe Bordalas' side.

Getafe have three draws in their last three games, picking up nine points in their last six games.

Former Arsenal midfielder Mathieu Flamini came on towards the end to make his debut for Getafe, who are 10th.

When quizzed about Sunday's clash with Getafe, Valverde said: "I have spoken about this game before it is a hard one, the game against them early this season was the first game we were behind".

Yerry Mina, making his La Liga debut for Barcelona, nearly opened the scoring but his header went just the wrong side of the post.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde's team selection saw full debutant Yerry Mina start alongside Lucas Digne in an unfamiliar centre-back pairing that seemed to encourage the visitors.

Inconsistent in defense, Mina was a constant threat on set pieces in attack, almost scoring with a header in the second half.

Ousmane Dembele, a big-money summer signing from Borussia Dortmund, has recovered from injury to return to Barcelona's squad.

Defending champion Real Madrid routed Real Sociedad 5-2 at home on Saturday behind a hat trick by Cristiano Ronaldo.

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

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.

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