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Barcelona held as Schalke take cup lead

Published: Tuesday 21 December 2010, 22.30CET
Free-scoring FC Barcelona were held to a rare 0-0 draw, FC Schalke 04 got a useful result in the German Cup, and Tuesday night's lone French league fixture ended in stalemate at FC Lorient.
Barcelona held as Schalke take cup lead
Gerard Piqué headbutts the goalpost after missing a chance against Athletic Club ©Getty Images

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Published: Tuesday 21 December 2010, 22.30CET

Barcelona held as Schalke take cup lead

Free-scoring FC Barcelona were held to a rare 0-0 draw, FC Schalke 04 got a useful result in the German Cup, and Tuesday night's lone French league fixture ended in stalemate at FC Lorient.

FC Barcelona were denied a goal for only the second time this season as Athletic Club held them to their first 0-0 draw of the campaign in the Copa del Rey round of 16 first leg, while FC Schalke 04 enjoyed cup success in Germany.

Hércules CF handed Josep Guardiola's side their only Liga defeat of the season to date with a 2-0 win on 11 September, but the Spanish champions had scored at least once in all 22 of their subsequent domestic and European encounters until they came up against the Bilbao side's resolute defence at Camp Nou. Bojan Krkić, Andrés Iniesta, Lionel Messi and David Villa all had chances, but Gorka Iraizoz made some fine saves for the Basque club, and when Gerard Piqué skewed wide late on, it was clear it was not to be Barcelona's day.

Second division Córdoba CF held RC Deportivo La Coruña to a 1-1 draw at home in the night's other early Copa del Rey tie, while Valencia CF were held 0-0 by Villarreal CF in the evening's late fixture. Juan Mata volleyed against the post just after the break and other decent chances went begging for Unai Emery's side.

Over in Germany, inclement weather ensured that only two of the scheduled German Cup last 16 ties went ahead. Schalke won 1-0 away against second division leaders FC Augsburg, with Jefferson Farfán scoring the only goal of a tight encounter late on after being teed up by Raúl González. TSG 1899 Hoffenheim won 2-0 against Bundesliga strugglers VfL Borussia Mönchengladbach, with Gylfi Sigurdsson and Demba Ba the latest goalscorers to profit from an accident-prone defence.

Finally, in the only league game scheduled in France, FC Lorient and mid-table rivals Montpellier Hérault SC shared the spoils in a goalless encounter. The hosts had the better of the action, but Christian Gourcuff's side held on for a point despite playing the final 17 minutes with ten men following Mapou Yanga-M'Biwa's dismissal.

Last updated: 02/01/11 21.28CET
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