Barcelona suffered from a second straight poor performance in LaLiga Santander with a desultory 0-0 draw at Cadiz on Thursday night at the Estadio Nuevo Mirandilla.
The Catalonian visitors did little in the way of creating chances and then had to play the final 25 minutes with 10 men after a foolish sending off for Frenkie de Jong.
The big news in the starting XI of coach Ronald Koeman was the inclusion of Gavi, while Sergi Roberto and Philippe Coutinho were each relegated to the bench. Luuk de Jong was also slotted up top with countryman Memphis Depay, while Oscar Mingueza and Gerard Pique each got nods in defence.
While Barcelona controlled possession, Cadiz weren’t one bit concerned about the visitors, as Koeman’s men hardly offered anything going forward and posed little risk to the men in yellow.
At the other end, it was also fairly quiet for goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen making for a very tepid first 45 minutes between the two sides.
Koeman’s first change saw Sergi Roberto replace Demir to start the second half, and the pace picked up with Alvaro Negredo testing Ter Stegen and back-to-back chances for Depay.
Things then took another turn midway through the half when Frenkie de Jong picked up a pair of yellow cards in four minutes, giving Cadiz a man advantage.
Koeman countered with Coutinho on for Luuk de Jong and Riqui Puig replacing Sergino Dest, however it was an error from Puig that almost gifted a winner to the hosts, with Ter Stegen denying Salvi.
That then led to an end-to-end finale, with Barcelona nearly sneaking in a late winner through Depay, but the shot missing the target, resulting in a share of the spoils.
0.- Cadiz: Ledesma, Arzamendia (Perea, min. 57), Haroyan, Chust, Pacha Espino, Fali Alarcon (Jonsson, min. 40), Alvaro JG (Salvador Sanchez, min. 46), Iza (Akapo, min. 79), Sobrino, Negredo (Lozano, min. 57).
0.- Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Dest (Riqui Puig, min. 80), Pique, Araujo, Mingueza, Busquets, Frenkie De Jong, Gavi (Nico Gonzalez, min. 73), Demir (Sergi Roberto, min. 46), Memphis, Luuk De Jong (Coutinho, min. 68).
Referee: Del Cerro Grande (Madrid). Yellow cards: Frenkie de Jong (Min. 61) for Barcelona, Frenkie de Jong (Min. 65) for Barcelona, Sergi Roberto (Min. 65) for Barcelona, Haroyan (Min. 68) for Cadiz, Akapo (Min. 88) for Cadiz, Tomas Alarcon (Min. 90) for Cadiz, Busquets (Min. 96) for Barcelona
Red cards: Frenkie de Jong (Min. 65) for Barcelona
Stadium: Nuevo Mirandilla