Getafe 1 Barça 0

Barça first defeat of the season came tonight at Getafe leaving us a worrying six points behind Real Madrid with just two weeks to go before El Clasico. We seemed to be on top for most of the game but we just couldn’t find a way through and then midway through the second half Valera headed in from a poorly defended corner to give Getafe the lead and Barça failed to react to the goal until right at the very end but then Leo Messi was denied by the linesman’s flag and the post which left a very strong feeling that it just wasn’t meant to be our day.

Guardiola made four changes to the team that won in Milan with Alves, Piqué and Maxwell and Alexis replacing Mascherano, Puyol, Keita and Fabregas. This meant we reverted to a defence of four while up front we began with Messi on the right drifting in, Villa in the centre and Alexis on the right. we began brightly enough with Alves finding Villa’s diagonal run but Villa’s shot was saved at the near post by Getafe keeper Moya. this was followed by a couple of corners with Abidal heading over from one of them.

It seemed as if the goal would come sooner or later but perhaps our problem today was that we believed we would score but we did very little to really try and penetrate the Getafe area. Admittedly, the way Getafe packed the space just in and outside their penalty area left us very little room to manoeuvre in and also meant that many of our shots were blocked or deflected. Messi kept drifting inside to try and find a way through leaving the right flank for Alves but our best hope seemed to come from free kicks but neither Messi or Villa could find the target. Our best spell came in the last twenty minutes of the first half when Villa moved to the left allowing Alexis to come inside. Alexis looked very lively for a while first having a shot deflected wide after Messi’s burst through the middle and then on 36 minutes Alexis held the ball up well in the area before knocking the ball back to Messi who quickly fed Alves on the right but Alexis hit his shot wide at the near post when Alves’s low cross came in. There was very little from Getafe but in the 42nd minute an Abidal slip led to a chance for Diego Castro but Alves was quick to get his foot in the way.

There was a need to move up a gear which we failed to do in the second half. We continued to go through the motions but there was not much punch to our attack. Villa headed a Xavi free kick well wide and then when Alves got forward to cross from the right the ball came to Villa at the far post and when he fired a cross/shot back the ball hit a defender and flew out for a corner. In the 56th minute Messi worked a short corner cutting in to shoot but the keeper saved despite a deflection. For some reason Guardiola decided to bring on Keita for Thiago in the 65th minute and there immediately followed the first little period in the second half of Getafe pushing forward and they managed to win a corner on the left, only their second corner of the game. As the outswinger came in there should not have been too much danger but as with the second goal conceded at Bilbao Gerard Piqué misjudged the flight and jumped too early and neither Busquets nor Keita could react as Valera jumped to head past the motionless Valdés.

Guardiola responded by throwing on Pedro and Cuenca but the team failed to react, Pedro managed a couple of efforts without causing Moya too much trouble.  As our desperation combined with Getafe’s fighting spirit to make the game scrappier and scrappier the minutes ticked away. Messi had had a very uninspired second half constantly failing to find a way through the middle, but in the dying minutes he came to life but was first denied, quite correctly, by Keita being called marginally offside, and then in the very last minute Messi was put in and seemed sure to find our equalizer only to see his shot bounce out off the far post, the attack continued and Pedro also managed a goalbound shot but Moya leapt across his goal to save.

Sometimes you have to take it on the chin. This game where the small team beats the big team 1-0 has been played many times with the big team dominating play but falling to the small team taking its chance when it came. There is often some luck involved, sometimes there are some dodgy refereeing decisions and there is usually a heroic goalkeeper for the small team. The really sad thing today is that we didn’t really force Moya into very many saves as most of our efforts seemed to hit defenders. We now face the prospect of needing to win at home and away to Madrid this season if we do not want to rely on other teams doing us favours. We didn’t play awfully it was just that sensation of going through the motions, and when you combine that with one poorly defended corner this is what you get. If we play like this at the Bernabeu in two weeks’ time I’m afraid we may find ourselves even further behind before Christmas.

Barça: Valdés 6; Alves 6.5, Piqué 5.5, Abidal 5.5, Maxwell 5.5 (Cuenca m72, 5.5); Xavi 6.5, Busquets 6, Thiago 6.5 (Keita m65, 5.5); Messi 6, Villa 5.5, Alexis 6 (Pedro m72, 6).

Goal: m67 Valera 1-0.

Barça yellow cards: m19 Maxwell, m44 Piqué, m89 Busquets

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12 Responses to Getafe 1 Barça 0

  1. KIMAT GUL KHATAK MD says:

    THE TEAM LOOKED TIRED. MESSI WAS FLAT. THEY DID NOT CHANGE THEIR AATTACK TACTICS. BARSA HAS VERY POOR CORNERS AND MOSTLY IT HURTS THEM RATHER THAN THE OPPOSING TEAM.THE COUCH PLAYED PLAYERS THAT WERE NOT EFFECTIVE AND HE LOOKED CONFUSED WITH OUT VILLANOVA.
    IF BARSA WANTS TO STAY IN THE GAME THEN IT HAS TO WORK ON FREEKICKS AND HEADERS AND THEY DEFINETLY ONE OR TWO TALLER FASTER DEFENDERS. THEY MAY HAVE TO SPEND MONEY AND REST MESSI AND NOT FINISH HIS CARRIER.

    • barcacentralnic says:

      Interesting point about Vilanova not being there as we did seem to lack ideas especially in the second half. Makes you wonder how important the #2 can be. Remember Rijkaard didn’t have the same success without Ten Cate

  2. Caleb says:

    Sorry Nic, but that offside call on Keita was not correct. If Messi would have kicked it, sure, offside. But the defender, not Messi, actually kicked it to Keita. We did wrongfully lose a goal there.

    But the performance was poor regardless. We started really strong in the first 10 minutes or so and seemed quite hungry. Then we just stopped trying, till it was too late. Villa had some decent chances but doesn’t seem to be in good form. His touch is just a bit off and his shot is not there. Sanchez isn’t clicking. Like him, Pedro is coming back from injury and has yet to look like scoring goals. Messi-dependency is real, but if we had either Fab or Iniesta it would have helped a great deal.

    The league isn’t over, but we’ve got to be nearly perfect from here on out if we want a chance at winning.

    • barcacentralnic says:

      Hi Caleb, It seems I was mistaken about the offside as you say it was a Getafe player, not Messi, who plays the ball to Keita. I was so frustrated by that point that I wasn’t paying proper attention

  3. bc9jaCule says:

    To say the least, I’m so peeved and disgruntled about the outcome of the loss but not near as much as the 4 draws that we’ve recorded so far this season. Although no team can win all 38 matches, any sane person must have seen this loss as long overdue, what with the ‘GREAT WISDOM’ of Pep Guardiola that has characterized our team rotation all season. Who is he trying to impress or better still, what is he trying to prove anyway???!!! He’s had 3 phenomenal seasons as the head coach and it was never broken so, what’s he trying so desperately and needlessly to fix???!!! Consequently, the La Liga mountain we are vying to climb just got steeper last night.

    Before you read this paragraph, let me categorically say that I’m not a tactician and whatever you read is simply a candid reflection of my intuition which, of course, you may not agree with. But the fact remains that we can’t always expect to get lucky and that’s why as a coach, you need to be alert and make the RIGHT adjustments at the RIGHT time in a game. Seriously, Guardiola really needs to up his tactical stock because I was disappointed with the type and timing of his substitutions yesterday. IMHO, was it really COMPULSORY that Keita be introduced and if so, to do what, exactly? It wasn’t like we were trying to defend a goal lead. Getafe were playing with an ultra-defensive approach that needed some fully attack-oriented players but, alas, the Mister’s first sub was to bring on Keita, in place of Thiago, for heaven’s sake!!! Thiago might have been poor in the middle of the park in Pep’s judgment but he shouldn’t have been substituted, frankly. I thought Villa was the worst player in our attack last night and have been for some matches now. So, IF Keita HAD to play, he should have been used to replace Villa while Thiago should have been moved to the left side of our attack because he can dribble with the ball and cut into the 18-yard box from the wings which was principally what we lacked. More so, Pedro and Cuenca ought to have come in MUCH EARLIER than they did (to replace Xavi (yes, XAVI!!!) and Maxwell) – NOT AFTER CONCEDING A GOAL!!! Just imagine, we were toiling more than necessary to score a goal when it was still scoreless, so, how on earth did he expect to score two goals against such a defensive approach when we were trailing by a goal – no way, except by sheer divine luck. Wondering why I said Xavi? Well, he was slowing the game by holding the ball for too long and when he did release the pass, it was MOSTLY SIDEWAYS because the defense was too tight for through balls to thrive. I’m not saying he (Xavi) didn’t play well, just not well enough, and such audacious substitutions COULD (I didn’t say ‘WOULD’) have changed the outcome of the game for the better. Look, what I’m about to say might hurt some people here but I’ll say it, notwithstanding. PEP IS, MORE OFTEN THAN NOT, TOO SCARED TO MAKE HIS SUBSTITUTIONS RIGHT ON TIME (still ruing the late substitution of Villa for Affelay in the second half of extra time in the Copa last season) AND WOULD RATHER MAKE REACTIONARY SUBSTITUTIONS INSTEAD OF INITIATIVE ONES.
    And, I think that corner that led to the goal could have been avoided if Valdes had been ALERT and SMART enough to pick up the ball before it went over the touchline (Mascherano’s back pass against Athletic Bilbao that led to a corner and eventually, a goal, comes to mind ) and our defenders (considering the height of Pique, Abidal and Busquets) should have won the header and not the shorter full back that scored on us (remember Thiago Silva’s goal at the Camp Nou a few weeks back?). Admittedly, we weren’t lucky with Messi ’s last ditch attempt that painfully ricocheted off the far post but we can’t blame this guy. He has been our most consistent goal scorer for several seasons now and we can’t always rest the burden of scoring and creating only on him – the other strikers/attackers/players must step it up, big time.

    On a final note, I don’t think La Liga is decided yet – of course, we can still win it, mathematically at least. We just made it more tasking for us because we have virtually used up our margin for error. 6 points behind Madrid?! We now HAVE TO WIN BOTH LEGS of the el clasico while we sit back and hope other clubs step up big time and earn points against Madrid before we can have any margin for error. My faith in this team and what it can achieve knows no bounds and is still as strong as ever but we, now, more than ever, MUST TIGHTEN UP.

    Visca Barca!!!
    Forca Barca!!!

  4. Lee says:

    Maybe bc9jaCULE is correct that Pep deserves a good portion of blame here. Keita was an odd sub, and let’s face it sticking with Villa . . .
    Hey, why wasn’t Cesc a possible sub? It seemed odd to me to leave him off the list. Injury? We sure could have used him.
    Grim loss, hard to be optimistic, but a victory in Madrid and things will look a lot better.

  5. Caleb says:

    Cesc was injured.

  6. Caleb says:

    Mathematically speaking we could still win the league with 103 points and Real could end on 34. Mathematically speaking.

  7. Caleb says:

    I also agree that Xavi did not have the performance that this game required of him. He did seem to take too many touches. And his balls over the top were usually off. When a team is playing like Getafe we really need the midfielders to be able to dump that ball over the defense in a place where our attackers can get on the end of it. I think Xavi had one really good one, but Villa simple failed to get a touch on it when he should have and the ball just rolled out. I would like to see Xavi release the ball with his first or second touch nearly all of the time.

    We got away from 1 and 2 touch football. I think we need to try to speed the game up, especially against a really defensive team.

  8. Caleb says:

    Like Messi and Iniesta with some of their intricate passing this season. That’s what we need some more of.

  9. FCB-Parbo says:

    Hehe, I’m still a little sad, but I have faith in our team. The league isn’t over yet. What do we expect of an ultra-defensive opponent? Getafe came and had just parked an airbus. They didn’t come to play. We all know how difficult it is to break it down, so any given chance to score they must take it. Damn, we have to use the width more often, I’ve missed that a lot in this game. And when Alves had the ball his crosses were very poor.They always try to go through the middle and it didn’t pay off. And the ball movement should be faster, but if they are tired then it won’t help, coz their touches would let them down. Oh Pep, for the time being I think you should start with the starting XI from last season to find the balance. So head up guys they will fight for us time and time again. And I do believe that the result has made Messi very angry. He will step it up big time.

    Visca Barca!!!

  10. The 6 point difference has a special meaning for FC Barcelona too. It´s a challenge in itself. It’s the first time in the Guardiola era that the team has to overcome a huge difference like this.

    Barça has to be the late Madrid, trying to catch the leader each Sunday… and Madrid will have to keep Barça´s pressure. We´ll see if Guradiola and the guys are able to manage a situation like this. They are used to play another rol.

    And el Clásico in just two weeks… Great!

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