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La Liga: FC Barcelona 6-1 Getafe CF: Match Review

A review of Barcelona's comfortable 6-1 win over Getafe in Sunday's early kick-off at the Camp Nou

David Ramos

FC Barcelona completely out-classed and out-played Getafe en route to a comfortable 6-1 win in Sunday’s early kick-off at the Camp Nou. Alexis Sánchez put the Blaugrana ahead after six minutes with a composed finish – his first La Liga goal of the season – and Lionel Messi doubled Barcelona’s lead on 13 minutes with his 299th goal for the club. David Villa notched Barça’s third just before the hour mark after an assist from Jordi Alba before substitute Cristian Tello made it four with a little over ten minutes left to play at the Camp Nou. Getafe substitute Alvaro – who entered the game in the same break of play as Tello – pulled one back for the visitors, but it only served to anger the hosts, who helped themselves to a fifth and a sixth, courtesy of Andrés Iniesta and Gerard Piqué respectively. The win extends Barça’s lead at the top of La Liga to twelve points and keeps the Blaugrana sixteen points clear of third-place Real Madrid.






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Barcelona made five changes to the team that slipped to a 1-1 draw against Valencia, as Jordi Roura looked to rotate his squad in anticipation of next week’s UEFA Champions League clash with AC Milan. Xavi dropped out of the squad through injury, while Cesc Fàbregas, Javier Mascherano, Dani Alves and Pedro all dropped to the bench – meaning the Camp Nou crowd were in for a treat as David Villa, Alexis Sánchez and Alex Song were all handed rare starts. Could Alexis put an end to his lengthy goal-drought with a virtuoso performance?

Barcelona started well – despite an early foul from Alex Song – to create an early chance on the counter-attack. Thanks to a slip from Mehdi Lacen, Barcelona had a two-on-one opportunity in their favour with Lionel Messi leading the charge, but unfortunately the Argentine’s pass was just a little too fast for David Villa and Getafe cleared their lines. However, Barcelona – who were adapting brilliantly to the lunchtime kick-off – continued to press forward and within six minutes, they had their opener.

Andrés Iniesta will be credited with the assist – and what an assist too; cutting inside from the left-hand side of midfield, Iniesta threaded through a delightful through ball to find the incisive run of Alexis Sánchez. Now, given the Chilean struggles in front of goal, one could be forgiven for fearing the worst, but Alexis – keen to prove his doubters wrong – settled himself with a brilliant first touch and slotted the ball past Jordi Codina with his second. It was a lovely finish and the relief on Sánchez’ face was clear to see. It might have taken him fifteen appearances, but he finally had his first La Liga goal of the season.

It didn’t take long for Barcelona to extend their lead either; buoyed by Alexis’ fourth goal of the season, Barça were brimming with confidence, and just like the first goal Iniesta was the creator. Once again, Iniesta dropped a shoulder, cutting in from the left-hand side of midfield and this time he took the aerial route, clipping the ball into the area to find the run of Thiago. Now, Thiago had a difficult decision to make: would he go for goal himself, or opt to move the ball onto Lionel Messi who was just yards away in the Getafe penalty area? To be honest, neither option seemed particularly attractive – his first touch certainly didn’t set him up nicely for a shot at goal, and there were a few bodies between Messi and the Getafe goal. Regardless, Thiago opted for the latter, teeing the ball up nicely for Messi who somehow found the far corner of Codina’s goal. 13 minutes in at the Camp Nou, and Barça were already two goals to the good – surely there was no way back for Getafe?

Of course, Barcelona have raced into two-goal leads before, only to end up dropping two points but based on the opening 45 minutes of play, this game seemed as good as over. Not content with their two-goal lead, Barcelona continued to attack and continued to create chances. Lionel Messi was unlucky not to connect with a speculative overhead kick, although he did connect with a volley just minutes later – rattling the post after an intelligent cross from Alexis Sánchez. Unsurprisingly, Getafe just couldn’t cope with the Argentine superstar – at times they couldn’t even get close enough to foul him – and as a result, Messi waltzed his way through the Getafe defense, almost at will. First time round he fizzed the ball out to Jordi Alba, but Villa spurned his first chance at a goal with a wayward finish and after yet another mesmeric dribble, Messi passed up the opportunity to shoot – literally – with a defense-splitting pass to David Villa. El Guaje took a touch and realised the angle was a little too tight for a shot on goal so he lifted the ball back into the area and to Lionel Messi who couldn’t keep his header down.

Alexis Sánchez, in what was arguably his best performance of the season, was also creating havoc in the Getafe defense and he can count himself unlucky not to have registered a first-half assist to go along with that much-needed goal. Sliding the ball through the legs of a defender, Alexis found Thiago unmarked inside the six-yard box, but unfortunately, Getafe managed to recover and block what would have been an easy tap-in on the stroke of half-time.

Jordi Roura was forced into a change at the interval, as Adriano was forced off through injury and replaced by Dani Alves. According to reports, Adriano picked up a knock on his calf, and was subbed as a precaution.

The second half started slowly – clearly Barcelona were content with their two-goal lead and as a result, were not willing to come flying out of the blocks. Instead, the Blaugrana decided to slowly ease themselves back into the game, keeping possession and waiting for a clear-cut chance to develop. So, while the first ten minutes or so passed without any real incident, it proved to be the calm before the storm; you better believe Barcelona wanted to grab a third goal.

They probably should have got that goal too with 57 minutes on the clock. Thanks to excellent play from Jordi Alba, Messi looked set to score his 300th goal for Barcelona, but his shot was blocked superbly – as was Alexis’ follow-up attempt. However, Getafe couldn’t keep Barça at bay for long as Villa made it three with the very next attack, calmly slotting the ball past Codina after a nice assist from Jordi Alba. It was El Guaje’s 11th goal of the season and Barcelona’s 75th goal of this La Liga season – not a bad total considering we are just 23 matches into a 38 game season.

With the game all but over, it was time for Jordi Roura to make his final two substitutions – as Cristian Tello replaced Alexis Sánchez with around 20 minutes left to play and he was joined by Javier Mascherano, who took Puyol’s place with a quarter of an hour left. Even though the result was not in question, Barça were still hungry for more goals and Cristian Tello – who was making his first La Liga appearance of 2013 – duly obliged, curling a beautiful shot into the corner of Codina’s goal off an assist from Leo Messi.

Unfortunately, Barça couldn’t keep their concentration for the full 90 minutes and they were made to pay for that loss of focus as substitute Alvaro made the most of Jordi Alba’s misjudged header to coolly grab a consolation for the visitors. Ultimately, the goal doesn’t make one iota of difference in the grand scheme of things, but is it really too much to ask for a clean sheet? Barcelona promptly responded with a goal of their own as Andrés Iniesta helped himself to a goal, pouncing on a loose ball in the Getafe area following a tackle on Messi; and Barça weren’t finished yet, as Gerard Piqué added a sixth with the final kick of the match after a selfless assist from Thiago Alcântara.

Tito Vilanova – who was surely watching from New York – will be delighted with the performance and the result to go with it especially as Barcelona prepare to head out on a two-game road trip where they will face Granada and AC Milan. Until then, Visca el Barça!

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