Barcelona title defense gets off to rocky start

Sports Desk, Aug 13 (EFE).- Defending LaLiga champions Barcelona had to settle for just a point Sunday against Getafe from a match that lasted 116 minutes and saw three red cards, but no goals.

The Catalan club are now winless in their last four visits to Coliseum Alfonso Perez in suburban Madrid.

While Barcelona would end the match with 75 percent possession and make 14 attempts on goal to just five for the hosts, they struggled to create quality chances and to contain their frustration over Getafe’s physical play.

After being fouled repeatedly, Raphinha threw an elbow at Getafe defender Gaston Alvarez in the 42nd minute and was sent off.

Getafe’s numerical advantage lasted only until the 57th minute, when Jaime Mata was ejected on his second yellow card of the night for fouling Ronald Araujo.

In the 70th minute, Barcelona coach Xavi was shown a red card for getting too aggressive with the assistant when complaining about a foul against Abde Ezzalzouli on the edge of the area.

The Blaugrana looked like getting an opportunity for a last-minute winner when Juan Iglesias kicked Araujo in the ankle in 101st minute, but the referee ignored pleas for a penalty and VAR upheld the non-call.

EFE jap/dr

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