Finally, in round seven of the Spanish La Liga, Barcelona won a match not played at home. It was hardly a performance for the ages, but with numerous injuries plaguing Barcelona, a masterpiece wasn’t really expected. A goal apiece in each half, Luis Suarez in the first and Junior Firpo in the second, secured the much needed three points.
Changes in the starting XI continued as Barcelona and Ernesto Valverde searched for the first away win of the season. Sergi Roberto replaced Nelson Semedo at right back, even though that wasn’t supposed to happen this season with Roberto’s “full transition” to midfield, while Carles Perez started on the right wing, This match could’ve been a chance for Ousmane Dembele to make an impression, but he joined Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati on the injured list.
From the opening whistle the tempo wasn’t very high, with neither team taking control, but after the first ten minutes, Barcelona stepped up their play and in the eleventh minute created their first chance through Perez who stripped the ball away from Allan Nyom and cut into the middle, but his shot was well saved by David Soria.
Five minutes later, Suarez was played through on goal, but missed the target while one-on-one, though a defender was on his heels. The linesman did raise his flag after the play, but VAR might have overturned the call had Suarez actually found the back of the net.
Getafe created their first opportunity in the 21st minute after a lovely combination through the middle which included former La Masia graduate Marc Cucurella, but Angel’s close range try was stopped by Marc-Andre ter Stegen. The visitors countered immediately, with the attack ending with Suarez firing from 25-yards out, but missed the target by mere inches.
After the quick exchange of chances, neither team showed much attacking appetite the next nearly 20 minutes. Then, in the 41st minute, with the midfield not doing enough to supply the forwards, ter Stegen, after a great defensive play, unleashed a perfect assist forward for Suarez to run onto and chip the goalkeeper to put Barcelona in a rare lead away from home. The Uruguayan almost added another at the stroke of halftime after a nice run and cut-back pass from Perez, but fired just wide of the near post.
Barcelona didn’t make any changes during the break, but Gatefe did, signaling a more attacking orientation as José Bordalás brought on a midfielder in place of a defender. Indeed, Getafe quickly threated, but Barcelona’s defenders did their job. But Barcelona’s response was excellent and in the 49th minute the Catalans doubled their lead. An extended possession on the right wing eventually led to the middle to Parez who fired from 25-yards. Though his shot was saved, Soria’s reaction to the shot was poor and he left a juicy rebound on the doorstep for Firpo to pounce on for his first goal in Barcelona colors.
What followed rarely resembled football as numerous broken players and several instances of tempers flaring led some miserable play. Just after the one hour mark, Barcelona finally created the next chance, but Saurez saw his close range effort saved. A couple minutes later, the visitors were in attack again, but Griezmann’s shot was too weak to pose a real threat despite the good look on goal.
As Getafe were opening up, Barcelona found increasingly more space to attack, but they couldn’t add to their lead. They came close on a couple occasions, including an Arthur screamer from 40-yards with Soria leaving his line, but the Brazilian didn’t continue his scoring run. With fifteen minutes left to play, Valverde started looking to his bench, first bringing on Nelson Semedo in place of the largely anonymous Griezmann before minutes later replacing Sergio Busquets with Ivan Rakitić.
After the 82nd minute, Barcelona were forced to play with ten men as Clement Lenglet was sent off for a second bookable offense. The Frenchman will miss the match against Sevilla. The hosts quickly threatened, but ter Stegen immediately had to make a couple important plays. In the 85th minute Angel was found all alone in the middle with a floated cross from the left side, but somehow managed to head the ball over the bar.
Moments later, in need of a central defender, Jean-Clair Todibo made his season debut as he replaced Perez to play a couple minutes before a big test next week against Sevilla in which he will surely feature. Barcelona took their time in possession over the final minutes to try and calmly bring the game to a winning end. And they did, securing their first three points away from the Camp Nou. But before the aforementioned Sevilla match, Barcelona will have to take on Inter Milan in the Champions League on Wednesday.