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Copa del Rey: FC Barcelona 4-0 Getafe CF: Match Review

FC Barcelona ran over Getafe CF at the Camp Nou and with a 4-0 lead going into the second leg chances are very good for Barcelona to advance

David Ramos

The first leg of the Round of 16 match-up between Barcelona and Getafe saw Barça record a comfortable 4-0 victory. Cesc Fabregas scored once in each half while Lionel Messi added a brace of his own in his first game since returning from injury. The four goal lead effective secures Barcelona a place in the next round of the Copa del Rey.

FC Barcelona

Getafe CF




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There weren't many surprises in the Barcelona starting lineup with Xavi and Messi not being expected to start and Neymar suffering from a stomach bug. It was also known that Jose Manuel Pinto would start in goal, and with Gerard Pique being rested for Saturday there weren't many options left for Gerardo Martino. Adriano started at left back to make his first appearance in the year 2014.

Barcelona didn't waste any time getting forward as Alexis Sanchez caused some havoc in Getafe's penalty area just after a minute of playing time. A few seconds later Andres Iniesta fired the first shot of the game, but the long range try went straight at the goalkeeper, Jordi Codina.

Getafe were comfortable sitting back and waiting for chances on the counter, and in the early going they had a couple good runs forward. They even created a decent chance from a free kick, but Barcelona comfortably defended the attacks.

Most of the action was happening in Barça's attacking third where Alexis, Cesc and Iniesta looked especially dangerous, but the rest of the team wasn't far behind. The passing was quick and on the mark which quickly outstretched Getafe's back-line and led to the opening goal before the game was even 10 minutes old. With a good cross Pedro was able to find Cesc, who was left with too much space on the right side from where he brilliantly headed the ball to the far post to put Barcelona in the lead.

After the goal the Catalan side continued to spend the majority of playing time in Getafe's third, exhibiting more brilliant passing and dribbling, creating a couple dangerous chances. However, that final pass appeared to be lacking, a great example of that came quickly after the opener, when Alexis was left wide open, but Adriano Correia was unable to find the Chilean with the cross.

In the 18th minute Getafe were gifted an opportunity from a set piece. The free kick was given far out on the left side of the pitch, but in front of the goal Javier Mascherano lost his marker, Juan Valera, who had a free header, but he missed the target from five yards out.

The hosts weren't rattled by what could've been a costly away goal, and immediately returned to the attack. Getafe's defense was struggling to keep up with the passing and the movement, but somehow Barcelona couldn't create any clear chances. They came close in the 24th minute when a wonderful combination between Cesc and Iniesta sprung the former behind the defensive line, but it only resulted in a corner kick. Surprisingly, Barcelona could've extended the lead from it, but Carles Puyol's header whistled wide of the post.

Barça however, remained vulnerable from set-pieces and had it not been for a brilliant Pinto save just after the half hour mark the game would've been tied at one. The visitors had another chance from the ensuing corner, but the header was off the mark.

After another strong stretch spent in and around Getafe's box that only saw Barcelona win three corners, the visitors were able to spend some extended time in Barça's half. They couldn't create any scoring changes, but they did well to disrupt Barcelona's build-up.

So, at halftime the score favored Barcelona, but had it not been for a few last ditch tackles/clearances by the Getafe defense this tie would've been very close to over even with 135 minutes left to play. But that was not the case and against all odds Getafe still had a chance to scrape a favorable result in the second half.

With neither team making any changes at halftime it came to no one's surprise that Barcelona continued to dominate the play. Though Getafe started to pressure the ball-carrier inside their half more than they did before the break. But that was a double-edged sword as holes opened up occasionally inside the defensive perimeter. That happened in the 48th minute when Pedro sent a dangerous cross inside where Getafe's Alexis, Alexis Ruano, somehow tipped the ball away from Cesc. The ball, however, continued its way through the six-yard box where Alexis was half an inch too short or he would've been able to double the lead.

In the 55th minute Alexis brilliantly found Cesc open on the near post, but the former Arsenal man couldn't first-time the shot on goal. Two minutes later, tic-tac-toe passing between Alexis, Cesc and Sergi Roberto presented Cesc with an open shot, but he was saw his attempt saved by Codina. Immediately after, Getafe went on a rare second half counter that forced Pinto to make a save on Pablo Sarabia's effort.

Just after the hour mark Pedro made a good looking stop-and-turn move deep inside Getafe's penalty box only to be brought down by Valera which gave referee José Luis González González no choice but to point to the spot. Being the designated penalty taker when Messi and Xavi are not on the pitch Cesc gathered himself for the kick and powered it to the top corner to double Barça's lead.

It was anticipated that Messi would be substituted on in the second half to play about 30 minutes and get back into game rhythm. And that was indeed the case as he was brought on the pitch in the 64th minute when he replaced Iniesta. At first the Argentine appeared to be taking it a bit slow, but after five minutes on the pitch he was already making darting runs past defenders. One of them was the precursor to Alexis' chance in the 74th minute, but Codina was able to make another excellent save.

15 minutes before the final whistle Cristian Tello was introduced as Alexis was given some time to rest from the countless runs he made. To Barcelona's defense surprise Getafe then went on a quick counter that saw Diego Castro just miss with a curling effort from a few yards outside of the penalty area.

Five minutes later Tata Martino completed his last substitution, replacing the two-time goalscorer, Cesc, with Alex Song. Messi then created another chance with his speed, sending what seemed to be a perfect cross for Pedro on the far side, but the Canary Islander just barely missed making contact with the ball.

Messi seemed like he hadn't missed a beat, and that was only confirmed in the 89th minute. Sergio Busquets played a stunning over the top ball to Martin Montoya who showed incredible ingenuity to get the ball to Messi, who was left with a simple finish. But Messi wasn't done there because in the third minute of added time he added another to his name. This time he was played through by Song and after making a long run he calmly beat Codina for the second time.

It was an excellent performance by Barcelona who apart from a couple minor lapses didn't give Getafe an inch. The Catalans will be going to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez on Thursday with a sizable lead and should advance to the next round of the Copa del Rey in comfortable fashion.

Barcelona will be facing a quick turnaround as they will be in action again on Saturday in what is arguably the most important game of the season since the El Clasico earlier in the season. Barça will be traveling to Madrid, to the Vicente Calderón, to take on its strongest title competitor at the moment, Atlético Madrid.

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