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Getafe stymie Barca in stalemate while Valencia win

Lionel-Messi-NewBarcelona slipped four points behind Spanish La Liga leaders Real Madrid after drawing a blank on a damp and luckless afternoon at Getafe. Luis Enrique’s side could even have lost the game in the final seconds of stoppage time as substitute Alvaro Vazquez muscled his way towards goal, but the final whistle was blown before the striker could get his shot away, with the game ending 0-0.

The closest the Catalans came to scoring was from a Lionel Messi free-kick that hit the woodwork. The result means Real Madrid are guaranteed to be top of the table at Christmas, while Atletico Madrid could go level on points with Barça if they beat Villarreal on Sunday.

It was a better day for fifth-placed Valencia, who returned to winning ways in style by producing a blistering first-half performance to see off Rayo Vallecano 3-0 at the Mestalla. Sofiane Feghouli opened the scoring for Nuno’s side after 13 minutes and then struck again from close range on 35 minutes, with Pablo Piatti hitting the third immediately after.

The only blemish for the hosts was Andre Gomes getting sent off in the second half for two bookable offences, but overall this was a convincing display from a Valencia side who had last won a league game at the start of November.

Malaga remained a point behind Valencia after beating Celta Vigo 1-0 at home, Samu netting the winner with a first-half header, while in Saturday’s other match Cordoba and Levante – two of the lowest scoring teams in La Liga – shared a 0-0 draw at the Nuevo Arcangel.