None of the teams wanted to lose, which translated to a tepid game that was devoid of fireworks.
Despite the return of Luis Suarez to Camp Nou to face his former side, he was unable to translate his aggression into a goal.
At the end of Saturday, Atletico Madrid lead the table with 77 points, followed by Barcelona with 75 points, Real Madrid in third with 74 points, and the defending champions are at home on Sunday against Sevilla, who are fourth with 70 points.
Thomas Lemar was the first to test Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the third minute but the Barcelona goalkeeper made a comfortable save.
In the first five minutes, Lionel was fouled thrice-by Hermoso, Koke, and Marcos Llorente. Lemar went off injured and was replaced by Saul Niguez.
In the 19th minute, Clement Lenglet produced a heroic block on Angel Correa, in what was a goal-saving tackle. There was a clash of heads between Sergio Busquets and Stefan Savic, which left the Barcelona man unable to continue.
He was replaced by Ilaix Moriba. Barcelona had their first shot on target in the 30t minute from Antoine Griezmann. Ter Stegen was tested again on 34 minutes from Llorente as Atletico had a good five-minute spell in which they pushed Barcelona to defend.
The second half was like the first with both teams very tentative in their attacking forays.
Ronald Araujo replaced Oscar Mingueza. Lenglet headed wide two minutes into the half. Yannick Carrasco continued to lead most of Atletico’s offensive forays from the left wing as the league leaders pushed for the opening goal.
The best chance to score for the home side fell to substitute Ousmane Dembele four minutes from time but he could not control his header in the box as the two teams settled for a point each with three games left in the season.
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