The home side were forced back early on as Luis Enrique's men dominated possession, but they did hit them on the counter-attack as Nordin Amrabat broke free down the left. The striker cut in from the flank although his effort was saved by Claudio Bravo.
Barcelona were working the ball around the pitch well but in the final third they struggled to carve out the clear-cut chance they needed to break the deadlock, as Lionel Messi and Neymar were squeezed out of space.
Messi came close to finding the net when he escaped the attentions of his marker at the near post, but was forced to chest Jordi Alba's cross at goal, which went just wide of the target.
The Argentine was given the chance to threaten when Barcelona were awarded a free kick just outside the penalty area, but unusually for the forward he fired his effort straight into the hands of Carlos Kameni.
Barcelona threatened again just before the break when Alba flashed a ball across the face of goal, which was just out of reach for the boot of Messi.