clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

La Liga: Getafe CF 2-5 FC Barcelona: Match Review

New, comments

A recap of Barcelona's 5-2 comeback victory over Getafe CF, as Barca secured top spot with a win in their final match of 2013

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

All hail Pedro.

FC Barcelona completed a superb comeback to wipe out a two goal deficit and defeat Getafe 5-2 at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Sunday afternoon – a result that ensures the Blaugrana will retain control of La Liga over the winter break. Goals from Sergio Escudero and Lisandro Lopez appeared to have gifted Getafe an unassailable lead, until Pedro took over the game with a breathless nine minute hat-trick which was followed up by Cesc Fàbregas’ second-half brace.

Getafe

Barcelona

Possession

28%

72%

Total Shots

10

15

Shots on Target

2

7

Pass Accuracy

67%

88%

Fouls

26

7

Offsides

0

5

Yellow Cards

4

3

Red Cards

0

0

Gerardo Martino made five changes to the team that defeated FC Cartagena 3-0 in midweek, as Neymar dropped out of the squad to serve a one-game suspension, while Alex Song, Martin Montoya, Cristian Tello and Carles Puyol were also out of the starting XI, with Andrés Iniesta, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves, Alexis Sánchez and Gerard Piqué moving back into the line-up. Would Barcelona be able to cope without both Lionel Messi and Neymar and secure top spot with a victory over Getafe?

With Cesc Fàbregas starting at false nine, Barcelona started the match as one might expect from a side featuring four central midfielders; monopolising possession from the starting whistle, albeit without ever threatening the Getafe defense. Pedro and Alexis Sánchez would have been tasked with providing the cutting edge – but were slightly off the pace in the opening stages as Pedro demonstrated with an ill-timed run leading to an offside call effectively wasting Sergio Busquets’ attempted through ball.

The hosts on the other hand were perfectly content to play the majority of the match without the ball, just as long as they capitalised on the chances they did retain possession – and that’s exactly what they did. Teaching Barcelona a lesson in clinical finishing, Getafe stunned the reigning La Liga champions with a quick-fire double to seize the initiative.

An intelligent backheel from Lafita sent Sergio Escudero through on goal down the left-hand side, and the full-back displayed great composure to slot the ball past Jose Manuel Pinto after just ten minutes at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Alone, that goal wouldn’t have been much of an issue. Barcelona could easily fight back from a one goal deficit, even without Lionel Messi and Neymar – but to fall two goals behind?

Four minutes later, Lisandro Lopez doubled Getafe’s lead with a well-directed header after Barcelona characteristically failed to deal with Pedro Leon’s corner kick. To say this was a surprise scoreline would be an understatement.

Barcelona were in shock.

They were without their captain, Carles Puyol. Deputy captain Xavi was injured, as was third-choice captain Victor Valdés. The man who typically leads by example, Lionel Messi, was also injured. Neymar was suspended. Just who would lead this Barcelona comeback? The team were turning to Gerardo Martino, but there was no quick fix for our Argentine tactician to implement.

While the state of the playing field was hardly ideal, it was no excuse. Sergi Roberto may have miscontrolled Dani Alves’ low cross around the 25 minute mark, but he had himself to blame just as much as any portions of loose turf on the field. Similarly, Alexis Sánchez could not blame the grass for his poor decision making which cost Barcelona their best chance of the game, as he headed Jordi Alba’s cross back across the area rather towards the Getafe goal.

However, these were at least signs of an improvement from Barça who soon turned this mini-spell of domination into goals, or at least a goal, as Cesc Fàbregas split the Getafe defense with a sublimely weighted through ball to free Pedro, who finished with a delightful chip. Miguel Angel Moya managed to get his fingertips to the effort, but ultimately it wasn’t enough and Barcelona had halved the deficit.

With ten minutes remaining in the first half, Barça pressed on in search of an equaliser and very nearly found one through Sergi Roberto, who sprung the offside trap with a superb run which was expertly picked out by Dani Alves. However, the young midfielder showed his inexperience with an awful finish, as he ballooned his shot way over Moya’s crossbar.

Not to worry. Pedro atoned for Roberto’s errors with his second of the afternoon, as he controlled Andrés Iniesta’s lobbed pass before cutting inside the challenge of the Getafe defense to thump an unstoppable shot into the top corner of the net. A quite sumptuous effort from the Spanish winger – who wasted little time completing his hat-trick, turning this game around on his own with another brilliant finish, as he this time powered an effort past Moya to complete the unlikely turnaround before the interval.

Getafe started the second half well and with a little more luck, could have easily levelled the scores at 3-3. Ciprian Marica was guilty of wasting their best chance at an equaliser, opting to take a touch when presented with a low cross from the left flank – an extra touch that cost him dearly as Pinto capitalised to clear the danger. Had the Romanian striker swung his boot at it first time, he could have certainly tested Pinto, if not tied the two teams again.

Further chances followed, but still no sign of an equaliser from the hosts. At the other end however, Barcelona were feeling confident and in a complete role reversal, it was the Blaugrana who were at their clinical best. A counter-attack orchestrated by Sergio Busquets culminated in the Catalan pivote picking out Alexis Sánchez, who floated a cross to the back-post, where Cesc Fàbregas was on hand to thump home a volley and secure the three points.

Pedro could have easily added a fifth and his fourth of the evening just moments later but he sent his lob over the crossbar – but Barcelona would not be denied for long. Again, Pedro was involved, drawing a reckless foul from Borja in the Getafe penalty area, and Fàbregas stepped up to claim his second with a coolly taken penalty.

Next up, Barcelona depart on the winter break before returning on the first weekend of the New Year, when they will entertain Elche at the Camp Nou. Until then, Visca el Barça!