Spanish champions Barcelona rested several first teamers as they played out an uninspiring draw at the home of basement club Huesca just before their all-important Champions League quarterfinal second leg meeting with Premier League giants Manchester United.
First team players like club skipper Lionel Messi, Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets were excluded from the 18-man squad for the Huesca game while the likes of Luis Suarez and Gerard Pique were suspended for the game.
Without the aforementioned first team players, the fringe players didn’t impress against the worst team in the division.
This was in stark contrast to the first meeting between the two clubs which ended in an 8-2 defeat for the bottom team in La Liga.
Ousmane Dembele was making his first start for Barcelona for over a month and the French World Cup winner was the biggest threat for the visitors against Huesca.
The former Rennes and Borussia Dortmund star came close to breaking the deadlock from both sides after he hit the post as the two teams settled for a share of the spoils though it must be pointed out that Barcelona dominated proceedings.
Barcelona’s lead has now been trimmed to nine points by nearest challengers Atletico Madrid with six games to go.
Three wins will hand Barcelona a second successive league title.
The big guns including Messi are expected to return for the second leg against Manchester United.