Barcelona were almost unrecognisable as they drew 0-0 with bottom club Huesca ahead of next week’s Champions League quarter-final second leg.
With Lionel Messi resting his cut nose back in Catalonia and Luis Suarez out suspended, Kevin Prince Boateng came in for only his second league start since he joined the club in January. He lined-up alongside Ousmane Dembele who was back from two months out injured.
Only goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen – of those who played on Wednesday against Manchester United at Old Trafford – was on the pitch from the beginning. Barcelona were also playing in all pink just to add to the sense that this was not really them up against the team propping up the other 19 sides in La Liga.
Arturo Vidal said: ‘It was hard to come here and not think about the next game against Manchester United. The Champions League is a dream for us.’
Riqui Puig might be a debutant but he is one who Barcelona supporters hope will play for years in the first team and his first intervention should have ended in a goal. It was a clever pass threaded through the Huesca defense for Dembele. The French forward only had the keeper to beat but Roberto Santamaria won the duel pushing the shot out for a corner.
Huesca’s second half of the season has seen them launch an improbable great escape campaign and they had their share of first-half chances. From David Ferreiro’s cross Moi Gomez fired just over just before half time.