FC Barcelona ended 2013 with one of the best comebacks in the club's recent history as El Blaugrana overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Getafe 2-5 in Madrid on Sunday night.
Getafe got the scoring started in the 10th minute by Escudero as bad defending by Gerard Pique allowed Escudero to make a break toward Jose Manuel Pinto and put in the first Getafe goal. Lisandro doubled the lead just five minutes later as his header from a corner kick stunned the Catalans.
Pedro cut the deficit down to one in the 35th minute as a great pass by Cesc Fabegas found Pedrito who was able to lob it over the Getafe goalkeeper Miguel Moya for the 2-1 score line. A few minutes later, Pedro equalized as poor Getafe defending allowed Pedrito to move the ball inside the box, set up, and put a smooth shot to the far post and in. Just before halftime, Pedro got his hat trick as some unlucky Getafe defending allowed Pedro to find the ball inside the box and put in his third goal in less than ten minutes-completing the comeback and lead. Three goals in less than ten minutes for Pedro! Wow!
In the second half, Cesc made it 2-4 in the 68th minute as a great set-up by Sergio Busquets, who found Pedro who then found a wide-open Cesc for the fourth goal. Four minutes later, a foul inside the box lead to a penalty for FC Barcelona. Cesc stepped up and rolled the ball into the back of the net for his brace and Barça's fifth and final goal of the night.
What a game! Let's get to my Best, Worst, and "What We Learned" from this game.
The Best: Pedro
In my last article, I had many people say I was wrong to say that Pedro has been having a great season... So where are you people at now?! I thought so.
With no Leo Messi and no Neymar, either Alexis or Pedro was going to have to step up for the Catalans. After going down 2-0, Pedrito stepped up and carried the goal-scoring duties. But let's give credit to Cesc as well as Jordi Alba for helping to set up the goal-scoring plays. Pedro was involved in all five Barça goals against Getafe, as he grabbed an assist and was fouled inside the box, leading to the penalty converted by Fabregas.
Did I mention there was a goal Pedro scored that should have counted, but was disallowed due to a bad offside call?
Pedro scored his three goals on three shots. Pedro's hat trick was the fastest La Liga hat-trick a player has grabbed on the road since David Villa scored three goals in four minutes against/at Athletic Club in 2006 (via Mr. Chip). Pedro has scored 10 goals on 13 shots in La Liga. Pedro's hat trick was the fastest hat trick by a Barcelona player since 1999 (Dani), and the fastest by a Barcelona player in an away game ever.
Eres grande, Pedro!
The Worst: The first 15-20 minutes of the game, Gerard Piqué
Need I say more?! The team looked completely lost the first few minutes of the game. Gerard Pique had the worst game out of any Barça player against Getafe. He was slow, weak, and he should have not started at all. Marc Bartra has been the best CB all season long, and should have started the game. Then again, that's easy for me to say now. I hope Tata Martino sits down with Gerard and straightens him out. If his team is going to win La Liga, Pique's inconsistent play has got to stop. If not, Sandro Rosell needs to seriously consider buying a CB in January. David Luiz may be on the market, though many would say he's inconsistent at CB as well.
What We Learned: As all true Culés know, FC Barcelona has more heart than most think.
This game was the definition of "highs & lows", or should I say, "lows & highs" for FC Barcelona. Many critics always say that Barcelona lacks heart during times of crisis. I must say there are moments of deep frustration, but let's get things straight, this team has never and will never lack heart. Those that say that they do can go eat crow now. And where are all the Madridistas that were making fun of Barça after they were down 2-0? I guess they'll go back to saying "We have 32 La Liga titles and 9 Champions League titles." Whatever you gotta do to make yourself feel better, I guess.
As I said in my previous article last week, "No Messi. No Neymar. But no...no excuses."
Against Getafe, and after being down 2-0, FC Barcelona got up, wiped away the blood from its figurative face, and fought back like a true champion does. And on Sunday, FC Barcelona stood back up, and threw champion-like punches to Getafe, eventually knocking them out.
There were no excuses, just football, goals, and lots of championship heart.
So proud of my team, my club, my heroes—as all true Culés are.
What's Next: January 5th vs. Elche
The winter/holiday break has arrived, so the next time we'll see FC Barcelona on the pitch will be on Sunday, January 5th when they will host Elche. Xavi is expected to be back from his injury. At his press conference this past week, Victor Valdes said he might return to the pitch by the Elche game. Lionel Messi will be back on January 2nd, but look for him to more than likely not start in the game. Tata Martino may decide to bring Leo on as a substitute in the Elche game so Messi can get some minutes to warm up those magical Messi legs so he can be ready for the biggest game of the season: the following week at Atletico Madrid.
Xoel's Final Word:
It was a comeback for the history books, as FC Barcelona overcame a 2-0 deficit early to score five goals and defeat Getafe 2-5 on Sunday night. If Barcelona does win La Liga in May, we may all look back at this Messi-less, Neymar-less comeback as a statement win. Barça, the defending La Liga champions, showed championship heart. What a great holiday gift FC Barcelona has given us! FC Barcelona ends 2013 as leaders in La Liga.
"Don't you ever underestimate the heart of a champion." - Rudy Tomjanovich
Don't ever, ever underestimate the heart of FC Barcelona.
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona