Barça travelled to Madrid to face the high-flying Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. The styles between the 2 teams have been contrasting this season with Getafe keen on defending and keeping it tight, while Barça continue to keep the ball and attack.
Barça have had an average possession of 62.8% behind Betis while Getafe have a possession of 41.8%- second least. Barça has the best passing accuracy with 89% while Getafe are last with 65% pass accuracy. Getafe have committed the maximum number of fouls with 301 while Barça are the second least, with 171.
Barça’s recent run of results against Getafe is impressive with 4 wins and a draw. Although the 7th placed Getafe posed a bigger risk having conceded fewer number of shots than most teams. (3.9 shots per game bettered only by Atlético Madrid, Leganés and Real Sociedad)
Formation and Lineups
Sergi Roberto returned to the starting lineup with Rakitic playing the Busquets role in his absence. Arthur started alongside Vidal completing the midfield with the familiar three of Dembélé, Suarez and Messi up front.
Getafe started with a 4-4-2 formation with the impressive Djené Dakonam starting in defence.
Getafe put the pressure on Barça in the opening minutes pinging them back forcing Rakitic to play between the 2 central defenders to help out the defence. Barça slowly started gaining control seeing more of the ball with Dembélé creating the first chance of the game in the 5th minute. After getting the ball in the midfield, he breezed through the defence with his burst of pace, but his cutback was anticipated by Doknam robbing him of the ball. Getafe’s counter on the break produced the first shot of the game as Angel fired his shot way over the bar.
Getafe were unlucky not to score their opening goal in the 9th minute as Foulquier slammed a low volley under Ter Stegen. However, the referee blew his whistle for an alleged shove by Rodriguez on Lenglet. But the replays showed Lenglet made the most of it.
Getafe dominated the midfield winning a lot of tackles with Barça struggling to bring any control over the proceedings. A few rash and clumsy challenges earned Alba, Arthur yellow cards, while Foulquier’s dissent earned him a yellow.
Just at the quarter hour mark, Barça opened the scoring out of nowhere, when Messi latched onto a loose ball in the box. His initial shot was saved by the goalkeeper, but he finished it from a tight angle to make it 1-0.
Barça had a couple of golden opportunities to go 2-0 up but neither Suarez or Piqué capitalized on it. Messi, after his trademark run teed up Alba who cutback to Piqué in the box, whose first-time effort was too close to Soria who made a superb save. A few minutes later, it was Suarez after receiving the ball in the box shifted the ball to his right foot and curled his shot just wide of the far post.
As the first-half drew to a close, Barça doubled their lead thanks to Suarez’s individual brilliance. Messi’s free-kick was half-cleared to the edge of the box, where Suarez struck the ball on the volley, arrowing it in to the top corner beating Soria.
Just as it seemed Barça would be heading into the interval with a two-goal lead, Getafe pulled one back. Alba was slow to the square ball towards Rodriguez who showed great determination to reach it and pass it towards Mata for a simple tap-in. It was the last clear-cut chance of the first-half as Barça lead 2-1.
Getafe started strongly in the second-half, almost equalizing in the opening minutes. Ter Stegen’s loose ball found Foulquier and he played it through for Rodriguez, who steers his shot just wide of the far post. The best chance of the match fell to Getafe in the 67thminute. Mata raced onto a through ball in behind the defence, rounded off Ter Stegen and with an open goal in front of him inexplicably scuffed his show high and wide.
Messi should have killed off the game in the 75thminute as Dembélé’s brilliant through ball found him. But under pressure from the defence, he fired a low shot too close to the oncoming Soria. Messi was denied again with 7 minutes remaining in the match, when his powerful curling effort towards the far corner was superbly saved by Soria.
Barça brought on Coutinho and Aleñáin the last few minutes but they couldn’t make a major impact as the match ended 2-1 in favor of Barça.
- Sergi Roberto Struggles
Sergi Roberto didn’t have the greatest of the matches after his return from the injury. He was all over the place and his positioning was questionable on more than one occasion.
- Barca’s lead at the top
Barça have opened up a 5-point lead against Atlético Madrid and a further 10-point lead from the 5thplaced Real Madrid. Though we are still reaching the half-way point, it’s a significant lead to carry into the second-half of the season.
- Messi and Suarez’s Individual Brilliance
Messi and Suarez continue to top the goal charts in La Liga with the Uruguayan notching up his 12thgoal as Messi scored his 16thgoal. Their goals were pure individual brilliance too. Messi produced a brilliant touch to nutmeg David Soria before finishing from a tight angle.Meanwhile, Suarez produced another gorgeous volley to double Barcelona’s lead.
Ter Stegen- 6/10
- He made a superb save of a header from Carbera, but gave away a loose ball which almost resulted in a goal.
- He was calm and assured in defence.
- He looked shaky in defence at times and if not for the referee’s misinterpretation, would have been responsible for the disallowed goal.
Sergi Roberto- 5/10
- His positioning was not great and didn’t contribute much in the attack.
- Was his usual-self providing width, space and also cutbacks into the box. Was solid in defence too.
- A solid performance after his comeback from injury.
- Did very well to depute for Busquets. He played a few through balls and was effective in counter attacks.
- His usual energy and work-ethic was on display though didn’t contribute much to the attack.
- Scored a brilliant volley. His pace and fitness seem to be improving too.
- Scored the opener with pure individual magic. His pass to Suarez in the 23rdminute will be the contender for the pass of the season.
Dembélé – 7/10
- He looked bright in the first-half and looks more and more integrated into the team.