Barcelona held by Girona to 0-0 home draw in Spanish league

Barcelona's Franck Kessie, second left, reacts after his teammate Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski, right, missed a scoring opportunity during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between Barcelona and Girona at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Monday, April 10, 2023. (AP Photo/Joan Monfort)

Barcelona failed to rebound from its humiliating loss to Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey semifinals and was held to a 0-0 home draw with Girona in the Spanish league on Monday.

The result still allowed Barcelona to increase its lead over second-place Madrid to 13 points with 10 matches remaining. Madrid lost 3-2 to Villarreal at home on Saturday.

Barcelona lost 4-0 to Madrid at the Camp Nou last week. It was the first time Barcelona had lost to Madrid at home by four goals since 1963 and it hoped to rebound in the team’s rare Monday game.

“The only thing that worries me now is to win the Spanish league,” Barcelona coach Xavi said. “We are still in a good position. We can’t be satisfied with a draw at home, but we are still 13 points ahead with 10 rounds left. We have to look at it positively.”

Barcelona playmaker Gavi had one of the best chances to break the deadlock when his header off a corner kick was saved by Girona goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga deep into stoppage time. Robert Lewandowski nearly found the net shortly after with a backheel shot that deflected off a defender in front of the goal.

Girona’s best opportunity came in a one-on-one situation wasted by Taty Castellanos early in the second half.

Barcelona finished with 18 shots in total, but only three were on target. Girona had five overall and none on target.

Barcelona remains unbeaten against Girona in league matches, with four wins and two draws. It was the first time Barcelona failed to scored against the fellow Catalan club.

Barcelona remains unbeaten in 14 homes matches in the league this season, having conceded only two goals in total — in a 1-1 draw against Espanyol and a 2-1 win over Madrid.

It was the first time since 2019 that Girona earned a clean sheet in a road game in the league. It stayed in 11th place with the draw.

Girona had beaten Espanyol at home in the previous round, and it next hosts last-place Elche. Barcelona visits relegation-threatened Getafe on Sunday.

Xavi still couldn’t count on several players because of injuries, including Ousmane Dembélé, Pedri and Frenkie de Jong.

As happened in the cup game against Madrid, fans at Camp Nou chanted Lionel Messi’s name in the 10th minute. The former Barcelona star was booed by some Paris Saint-Germain fans in its recent home defeat to Lyon, leading to increased speculation he could leave this summer, but scored in PSG’s 2-0 win against Nice on Saturday.