Huesca hold first-place Barcelona to scoreless draw in LaLiga
FC Barcelona's midfielder Arturo Vidal (R) in action against SD Huesca's midfielder 'Chimy' Avila (L) during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between SD Huesca and FC Barcelona at the El Alcoraz stadium in Huesca, Aragon, northern Spain, April 13, 2019. EPA-EFE/JAVIER BLASCO
FC Barcelona's midfielder Moussa Wague (R) in action against SD Huesca's defender Javier Galan (L) during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between SD Huesca and FC Barcelona at the El Alcoraz stadium in Huesca, Aragon, northern Spain, April 13, 2019. EPA-EFE/JAVIER BLASCO
FC Barcelona's Ousmane Dembele (L) in action against SD Huesca's David Ferreiro (R) during the Spanish LaLiga soccer match between SD Huesca and FC Barcelona at the El Alcoraz stadium in Huesca, Aragon, northern Spain, April 13, 2019. EPA-EFE/ELENA MUNOZ
Huesca (Spain), Apr 13 (efe-epa).- Huesca held first-place FC Barcelona to a scoreless draw on Saturday, earning a rare moral victory in an otherwise disappointing season.
Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde opened the door for Huesca by resting practically all of his regular starters with the second leg of his team's Champions League quarter-final clash against Manchester United looming on Tuesday.
With the draw, Barca (74 points) provisionally boosted their lead to 12 points over second-place Atletico Madrid, who are taking on Celta Vigo on Saturday evening.
The one point that Huesca (25 points) earned, meanwhile, did little to improve their situation, as the last-place club are still five points deep in the relegation zone with six games remaining.
With goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen as the only regular starter in the lineup at El Alcoraz stadium, Barcelona controlled ball possession but lacked intensity and also did not have their normal precision on the final touch.
Huesca, for their part, waited for chances on the counter-attack but were unable to summon the necessary patience to capitalize on those opportunities.
Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele could have opened the scoring in the 16th minute on a great pass by Riqui Puig, but goalkeeper Roberto Santamaria intervened in the nick of time.
On the ensuing corner kick, Barcelona had another scoring chance on a header by Jeison Murillo, only to be denied yet again by Santamaria.
During the dying minutes of the first half, Barcelona had yet another scoring chance, but Kevin-Prince Boateng failed to connect on a cross into the area by Moussa Wague.
The match followed a similar script after the intermission, with Dembele squandering another scoring chance and Malcom hitting the woodwork during the opening minutes of the second half.
The rest of the second half resembled an open training session for Barcelona, while the home side did not go after the three points they so badly need.
0 - Huesca: Santamaria; Miramon, Etxeita, Pulido, Javi Galan; Juanpi (Melero, min.60), Rivera, Moi Gomez; "Chimy" Avila (Alex Gallar, min.87), Enric Gallego and Ferreiro ("Cucho" Hernandez, min.71).
0 - Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Jeison Murillo, Umtiti, Todibo; Wague, Vidal, Aleña (Arthur, min.80), Riqui Puig (Jordi Alba, min.67); Malcom, Boateng and Dembele (Coutinho, min.67).
Referee: Cuadra Fernandez. Showed a yellow card to Huesca's Pulido and Barcelona's Todibo and Wague.
A LaLiga Matchday 32 game held at Huesca's El Alcoraz stadium in front of 7,332 spectators.