Barcelona lost ground on Real Madrid when they were held to a 0-0 draw at rain-lashed Getafe and slipped four points behind the La Liga leaders.
Real jetted off to the Club World Cup in Morocco after Friday’s 4-1 win at Almeria extended their Spanish record winning streak to 20 matches and Barca struggled against some gritty Getafe defending at the Coliseum in the Madrid suburbs.
Barca forward Lionel Messi was unable to convert the few chances that came his way and add to his 13 La Liga goals this season although he came closest for the visitors when he curled a 52nd-minute free kick against the crossbar.
The Argentina captain has hit the frame of the goal eight times in Spain’s top flight this term, twice as many times as the next most frequent, Real’s Karim Benzema.
In the late game, Valencia had no such trouble scoring at home in a 3-0 win over Rayo Vallecano, striking three times in the first half to put the result beyond doubt before the break.
Forward Sofiane Feghouli scored in the 13th and 34th minutes before Pablo Piatti added another in the 36th.
Valencia played the final 20 minutes with 10 men after Andre Gomes was sent off. Valencia remained in fifth place but closed to within one point of fourth-place Sevilla.