Generally, he was probably as bored as hell for the entire game; he was not troubled at all, not even a noticeable dangerous shot directed at his goal. He exchanged a couple of passes with his defense and made a couple of clearances from inside his box. A couple of times he continued playing the ball even under a lot of pressure from the Getafe attack, but like I said, he had nothing else to do. He got 17th clean sheet of the season nonetheless.
Shots/Shots on Target2/0
He was all over the pitch in this game; one moment you see him making a brilliant defensive move at the back and before you know it he’s executing a brilliant header on the other end of the pitch. He made a powerful interception on the 35th min and he was unlucky with his header on the 58th min (off a corner) as it drifted a few inches off target. He also combined well with Mascherano and Valdes a couple of times as they built play from the back. He also managed to deliver one spectacular cross for Messi one 79th min and ran tirelessly until the ref blew the final whistle.
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
One more spectacular game into the Argentine’s record; should I remind you the best part? He’s playing at the back. This time he started at the center of a three-man backline and he never put a foot wrong. A lot of Getafe’s attacks ended harmlessly as he intercepted and tackled in a ball winning contest he seemed to win every time he participated. He helped clear the ball a couple of times too as Getafe looked to create something out of a few corners they had. He was given a standing ovation by the Camp Nou faithful as he left the field on the 84th min to be replaced by Mark Muniesa.
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
He was not overly involved in the team’s major moves but offered enough to help the team keep a clean sheet. He was troubled a couple of times in his flank but his combination with teammates on the left side of the pitch were very important in build-up play. He left the pitch with 15 min of regulation time remaining to be replaced by Martin Montoya.
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
Much like most, if not all, of his teammates, he was exceptional in this game and that alone sounds like an extreme understatement. Messi did not do justice to his superbly taken long pass into the box as he was unable to finish it, dragging his effort wide. He made a lot of crucial defensive moves inside the box from both corners and direct attacks and either one of them could have been very dangerous without him. The three men who started behind him definitely felt a lot safer as he neutralized almost all of Getafe’s creative moves in midfield. The quality of his long passes is second to none and he also showed another glimpse of his attacking game he almost scored on the 36th min after a quick 1-2 with Iniesta. The thought that he is still improving can be very scary if you think about it, he’s playing brilliantly.
Shots/Shots on Target1/1
He was simply unplayable in this game and it’s not the first time we’ve seen him control games at this level. His ball control, distribution, movement and the way he manages to open up space in a congested midfield makes him an opposition’s nightmare at best. He never seems to be very far from where the ball is and it always looks like the team never attacks without his go ahead. There are times you see him exchanging passes in the middle with the likes of Iniesta and Messi and if you know the team well, you’ll just know that it always ends badly for the opposition. He almost assisted Busquets with a dangerous free kick on the 2nd min of the game and his second attempt on the 22nd min was headed to safety by Casquero. He was hard done by the ref on the 17th min as his goal, which replays clearly showed it crossed the line, was not allowed as the man as the man in charge (with his assistant) waived play on.
Shots/Shots on Target1/0
He worked very hard with Xavi and Sergio in midfield as they limited Getafe to just 23% of the possession. He sent a dangerous ball into the box early on the 3rd min and only won a corner in return. His powerful low drive from outside the box was brilliantly saved by Moya on the left edge of his goal as he diverted it out for a throw-in. Those who appreciate beauty will not have missed his 1-2 with Messi, for the Argentine’s 39th league goal of the season, as he registered his 8th Liga assist. He again combined well with Messi on the 51st min but his scooped ball could not get to the forward as the taller Diaz headed the ball out for a corner. As with his midfield colleague in Xavi, he was also hard done by the ref on the 61st as he was brought down in the box but play was ordered to continue.
Shots/Shots on Target0/0
He was at his brilliant best, playing at the right wing. He always hugged the touchline as usual, keeping width, when the team was in possession and he tracked back and worked together with Puyol on the right to help defensively when Getafe had the ball. Credit should be due to the Getafe defenders as too many of his crosses were expertly blocked, cleared or deflected in the box and removed from danger; but when you had as many as he did, some eventually make it. Alexis’s finishing didn’t do justice to his brilliant cross on the 32nd min as the Chilean missed an open net in a move he could have done better using his left foot. The former Udinese man did make it up for him though as he finished brilliantly with a well-timed powerful header when the Spaniard’s cross was expertly delivered on the 72nd minute.
Shots/Shots on Target2/2
He is slowly coming back to his brilliant best, or maybe we shouldn’t get ahead of ourselves as some might suggest. At least he’s taking it game by game and picking up his game as we approach the business end of the season. Much like Cuenca, he kept a lot of width on the left and attempted a lot of crosses; although a few were poor, most were very good and could easily have ended in goals. He also tracked back as well and his defending saved the team a couple of times. His second goal in two games came on the 74th min when he headed a brilliant curling free-kick from Messi into the top-left corner. He was later replaced by Tello with just above ten minutes of normal time remaining.
Shots/Shots on Target5/2
A total of four goals were scored in the game and he was involved in all of them. He brilliantly controlled the ball with his chest as he laid it down for Alexis, assisting the Chilean for the first goal of the game. He later scored his 39th goal of the Liga season after exchanging a massive 1-2 with Andres Iniesta before powering an unstoppable galazo past the helpless Moya; by so doing, becoming the first person in the history of the Liga to net 28 home goals in one season. He later made the pass that lead to the assist for Alexis’ second goal of the night as he released Cuenca free on the right for the young Spaniard to cross under no pressure. His second assist of the game, his 14th of the season in the league, came off a free-kick when his curling shot was bulleted into the top-left corner by Pedro. He was in an unplayable mode and could easily have created more goals as most of his passes, through balls or cross were squandered by his teammates’ power first touches or finishing.
Shots/Shots on Target3/2
If Alexis can be consistent with his finishing, our team can undoubtedly reach new (higher) levels of domination. He scored two brilliant goals in this game; both were a result of power and precision as he gave the keeper absolutely no chance. The first was started after a great combination with Messi outside the box and he controlled the ball well to drill in a superb curling shot into the top corner on the 13th min from about 20 yards from goal. The second goal, his 13th of the season, was a powerful header from a perfectly weighted Cuenca cross. He pressed the Getafe attack nonstop and could have easily ended the game with a hat-trick as he earlier missed an open net after a brilliant cross from Cuenca and a last-ditch clearance from Masilela later prevented the ball from connecting with his head for an easy finish after a marvelous mazy-dribble-and-pass from Lionel Messi.
He replaced Adriano on the 75th min and helped keep things calm at the back. He also got an opportunity to misplace a pass during an attack.
He replaced Pedro with 11 min remaining and managed to displayed his skills loaded with pace in the small time he got. He could also probably have scored should Messi have noticed him as he ran unmarked up in the left wing only for the pass to never arrive.
Replaced Mascherano with only 6 min of normal time remaining and didn’t see enough of the ball to cause any damage or at least get a complete rating.
Note: I (Arron) forgot to add him to the form, hence no rating
Shots/Shots on Target14/7
Aerial Battles Won50%
I know I can be very greedy at times but to be honest I can’t ask for more when the team delivers a performance like the one in this game. They were superior to Getafe on all areas of the pitch and could easily have humiliated their visitors even more. They limited them to just 23% of the possession and didn’t even sympathetically allow them a clear shot on target; that to me is complete domination. They should keep the momentum going because I for one don’t believe that they can lose to anyone playing like that, NO ONE! Oh and they finished the game with 10 homegrown players, crazy right?
You’ll be surprised what this man can do with his toys; seriously, who experiments at this time of the season with so much at stake? He started the game with four strikers, four freaking strikers! Who does that? Bearing in mind that Iniesta has played in the front line and that there was only one natural defender on the pitch in Puyol, who by the way was at times found in the Getafe 18 yard area, the team was just a nightmare for Luis Garcia’s men. His substitutions were brilliant as well as he gave some moral boosting minutes to three young players from the youth ranks.
|MOTM - Lionel Messi
Well the three time world player of the year doesn’t seem to be giving others a chance here as he is winning this thing week-in week-out. But we can’t complain if the form he’s on is actually elevating the team to the extremist of heights. I can commit a common fallacy of reasoning and say that the team couldn’t have scored four without him; I know it’s ridiculous but at least it helps explain his importance in the bagging of the three points. Special mentions will be to Alexis Sanchez (41%) and Sergio Busquets for making a strong case as well.