Barcelona’s 11-point merit over Atletico Madrid become 9 on Saturday as Lionel Messi was once overlooked in their goalless draw with Huesca and Gerard Pique watched on tv with a bowl of prawns.
With Barca’s focal point obviously on Manchester United, Messi and Pique have been amongst 10 avid gamers rested for the stalemate at El Alcoraz as trainer Ernesto Valverde prioritised Tuesday’s 2nd leg and growth to the Champions League semi-finals.
The cost was once two issues dropped and Atletico capitalised, beating Celta Vigo 2-Zero due to a thundering Antoine Griezmann free-kick and a fab end from Alvaro Morata.
“Clearly we at all times need to win however it’s true this sport got here in quite other instances,” Valverde stated.
“It’s an peculiar week as a result of we come from taking part in an intense fit on Wednesday, when the travel was once lengthy, and we have now the go back on Tuesday.
“Taking into account the time table and our merit within the league, I believed it was once time to make adjustments.”
Messi was once overlooked of the squad totally whilst the suspended Pique posted an image on social media of the fit on tv, in entrance of him a big bowl of seafood.
Barcelona’s large merit on the best of Los angeles Liga has afforded them the posh of prioritising luck in Europe, the one factor most likely for Valverde the topic of keeping up momentum.
Total, they have been higher than Huesca however by no means truly were given out of 2nd equipment.
Luis Suarez was once additionally banned, with Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Clement Lenglet given the risk to get better too forward of the go back towards United at Camp Nou, the place Barca will get started with 1-Zero lead from the primary leg.
Ousmane Dembele’s probability of a get started there would seem enhanced after he performed 67 mins following his restoration from a hamstring harm.
Malcom got here closest to a winner, his shot hitting the submit, however Huesca have been excellent price for the draw and may just also have snatched victory themselves in the second one half of.
Nonetheless backside of the desk of their first-ever season in Spain’s best flight, Huesca now take a seat 5 adrift of protection, albeit having performed a sport greater than the ones right away above them. Their survival bid stays not likely however alive.
Celta’s defeat to Atletico way they’re nonetheless within the scrap, two issues setting apart them from the ground 3.
Barca fascinated by Europe
Dembele got here closest to a function within the first half of after a super opposite move from the gifted Riqui Puig, considered one of numerous kids given an opportunity to provoke.
Any other was once Jean-Clair Todibo, who noticed a header stored whilst Kevin-Prince Boateng, additionally passed an extraordinary day out after his arrival in January, was once not able to hook up with a low Dembele pass.
Huesca had their moments as Enric Gallego burst via however shot extensive after which he sought after a penalty after Marc-Andre ter Stegen slid throughout the again of his legs.
Malcom struck the submit with a fizzing power however in spite of Jordi Alba, Philippe Coutinho and Arthur Melo all approaching in the second one half of, Barca may just now not have the ability via.
The onus was once on Atletico to take merit on the Wanda Metropolitano despite the fact that any chase, with six video games left to play, will indisputably turn out fruitless.
Griezmann’s free-kick flew into the highest nook simply earlier than half-time and he then teed up Morata to make it two, the Spaniard wearing it across the goalkeeper for his 7th function in 10 video games.
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