Barcelona allowed the gap between themselves and great rivals Real Madrid to widen to seven points after being held to a 0-0 draw by Villarreal at El Madrigal.
The Catalans may have ended Madrid’s defence of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday night but their chances of holding onto their league title appear slim after another frustrating evening on their travels.
Cesc Fabregas hit the bar in the second half, while Villarreal defended admirably and goalkeeper Diego Lopez made a number of key saves. Ultimately, against a side battling relegation, Pep Guardiola’s side were unable to match Madrid’s earlier victory over Real Zaragoza.
Poor away form has dogged Barcelona all season in La Liga – they had won only four in nine prior to kick-off – and Guardiola’s side again looked somewhat unconvincing at El Madrigal.