Getafe 1 FC Barcelona 4

Tito Vilanova’s Barça maintained their 100% league record tonight with a comfortable 1-4 win over Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez. With Real Madrid’s 1-0 defeat at Sevilla Barça now have an eight-point advantage over their main rival for La Liga. As against Valencia two weeks ago Adriano Correira opened the scoring, sweeping home in the 32nd minute after Cesc Fabregas’s run into the area, then substitutes Leo Messi, twice, and David Villa finished the job for Barça in the second half while Javier Mascherano scored an unfortunate own goal at the other end.

With Jordi Alba recovering from flu, the Fifa virus had already left Barça without Andrés Iniesta and Alexis Sanchez, but Vilanova considered it prudent to rest the three South Americans, Messi, Mascherano and Alves as they had all made long trips this week. It is also true that Alves has had some muscular problems in recent weeks while Messi has not had a minute’s rest so far this season, though it was interesting to see that Cesc Fabregas was given the “false nine” role, after his recent disappointing games in midfield. This also gave Thiago Alcantara a chance to come into midfield and start his first game after his long layoff with shin problems. The other decision of note was that Cristian Tello was again preferred over David Villa which leads one to wonder: when will Tito consider Villa to be ready? Or maybe Tito just wants to go even more cantera than Guardiola ever did as we started the game with ten home grown players with Adriano at left back being the only “outsider”.

Getafe began the game aggressively but it didn’t take long before Barça carved out a first chance with Tello going through on the left but as he tried to sidefoot for the far post Getafe keeper Moya got down well to his left to save. The referee Fernando Teixeira Vitienes had a complicated game with various shouts for penalties, the first for a hand ball from Miguel Torres as Pedro tried to go by the left back, then at the other end Colunga went down under pressure from Montoya, then not long after Fabregas went down struggling for the ball with Lopo but on each occasion the ref waved play on.

There was little danger in the Barça half though Colunga got one run with only Adriano to beat, for a moment memories of his sending off in Madrid came back, but this time Adriano won the ball cleanly. Generally Barça were controlling the ball very well with Xavi giving another lesson in how to maintain possession. On 25 minutes Xavi found Thiago who darted between two opponents before snapping in a shot from the edge of the area that hit the top of the crossbar before going over.

The warning signs were there for Getafe but Barça started to raise the rhythm. Tello sent in a low cross that evaded everybody, then Xavi got into the area after playing a 1-2 with Fabregas, the ball breaking to Adriano who lashed a shot over the bar. On 30 minutes Xavi drove one from 25 yards straight at Moya, then a couple of minutes later Xavi found Fabregas who ran into the area, went past Lopo, forcing right back Valera to come inside to intercept but the Getafe defender only suceeded in nudging Fabregas off the ball which ran on to Adriano who swept the ball home from about ten yards out.

Barça might have made it two a couple of minutes later when Tello’s centre reached Thiago who controlled well with his chest before stabbing in a shot that Moya did well to turn round his near post. There was then another penalty shout when the ball ricocheted up onto Puyol’s hand but it was the only scare in the remainder of the first half and we went in at half time 0-1 up.

It may have been worth remembering at half time that Madrid also led by a goal in their game here three weeks ago and Getafe came back in the second half to win 2-1. Getafe began the second half showing more ambition and in the 48th minute Diego Castro cut in from the right but his shot was sliced well wide. The only bad news of the night was an injury to Puyol’s left knee after stretching for a ball with Abdel Barrada. Our captain bravely played on for a couple of minutes before Mascherano replaced him, but he looks likely to be out for four to six weeks.

Tello had two chances within a couple of minutes, once his curler went just wide and Moya got down to his left to stop the other. Barça were dominating but lacking the finish and Vilanova called for Messi with half an hour to go. Messi was immediately involved forcing Michel into a foul that was punished with a yellow, then in the 66th minute Xavi sent Messi away only for Miguel Torres to slide in and bring him down, this time it looked a clear penalty but Teixeira Vitienes again ignored the appeal. Messi then found Tello in acres of space on the left and for once the winger didn’t look for the far post but Moya held his ground to block the shot.

Tello and Pedro then switched wings with Pedro coming to the left. In the 73rd minute Pedro turned Valero inside and then out forcing the full back to leave a heel out behind him which caught Pedro and the ref finally decided to point to the spot. Messi’s penalty kick was fairly central but Moya dived to his left and could only touch the ball with his trailing right hand and the ball carried over the line.

Finally there was breathing space and Villa came on for the last 15 minutes in place of Tello. In the 78th minute Messi could find no way through the middle but he managed to turn and maintain possession, the ball went from Xavi to Busquets to Pedro who played it on for the overlapping Montoya whose low cross took a slight deflection off Miguel Torres before arriving to Messi who had a simple tap in from three yards.

Getafe pulled a goal back after substitute Sarabia cut in from the right and shot, Adriano managed to get his toe in the way but the ball flew into Mascherano and took another wicked deflection that left Valdés completely stranded. Xavi Torres tried a hopeful shot from 25 yards that went well over but it was Barça who finished more strongly. In injury time Fabregas sent a glorious ball from the half way line for Villa to control with his chest before running on to fire in Barça’s fourth.

The victory is a definite show of authority to our rivals. It looked reasonably easy but we would do well to remember that distinguished coaches Pep Guardiola and José Mourinho have both lost on their last visit to Getafe’s Coliseum. I was worried that we might see another performance like the one at Osasuna where despite winning we played pretty poorly. However, even with all the changes and the Fifa virus we put out a team that dominated throughout. Lots of things to be pleased about: Adriano’s good form, Thiago’s return, Xavi’s masterclass and the goals for Messi and Villa come to mind, however, the two assists from Cesc Fabregas were probably the best news as hopefully they will serve to boost his confidence in the coming weeks. Madrid’s defeat at Sevilla is just the icing on the cake!

Next up it’s the Champions League on Wednesday with the visit of Spartak Moscow to Camp Nou.

Getafe: Moyá; Valera, Alexis, Abraham, Miguel Torres; Míchel, Xavi Torres; Abdel Barrada, Diego Castro, Pedro León (Sarabia m79); Colunga (Alvaro m60)

Barça: Valdés 7; Montoya 7, Piqué 7.5, Puyol 7 (Mascherano m57, 7), Adriano 8; Xavi 8.5, Busquets 7, Thiago 7.5 (Messi m59, 8); Pedro 7, Fabregas 7.5, Tello 6 (Villa m75, 7).

Goals: m32 Adriano 0-1, m74 Messi (pen) 0-2, m78 Messi 0-3, m80 Mascherano (o.g.) 1-3, m91 Villa 1-4.

Yellow cards: m23 Busquets, m38 Piqué, m61 Michel, m62 Valero.

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6 Responses to Getafe 1 FC Barcelona 4

  1. layibiyi says:

    Common, Puyol!! you just got back. You could see how disappointed he was and how he tried to continue. Heard he would be out for about 6 weeks. I think we need to use this opportunity to test the personnel we have behind Pique and Mascherano. Just in case, there is always the January window though I hope Puyi would be on a run of matches towards the end of the year.

    Anyways, this was a surprisingly easy game. Maybe it wasn’t easy but with last season in mind, we were focused and made it look so. A lot of squad players did their job unlike in the same type of games last season when we would wait till messi came on to initiate decisive attacks. Fabregas looked calm and confident. Like everyone else is thinking, what else does villa have to prove to start again. 2 goals in just about 30 minutes this season. I liked Montoya, Xavi and Thiago’s contribution as well. Tello needs to work on finishing more, he shouldn’t be this predictable this early in his career. Messi – Little effort and 2 goals, its that easy.

    As for madrid, they can now how hard it is to defend such a title, to maintain the hunger, the motivation, the luck, the focus, to penetrate the more determined opponents etc. We shouldn’t let them affect us though. It really is still early and despite the talk of a 2-team league, we all know there are many tricky fixtures in la liga. I can remember how the sevilla game went for us last year.

  2. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Great write-up Nic…..hahahha however imo Messi is a ‘7.5’ at best. I would give Fabregas a ‘7.7’ for his 2 assists and much improved display =D …my oh my …how i missed those David Villa trademark goals. That timing of his runs…..ORGASMIC!! Villa will be key towards the season.

    I was overjoyed as soon as i saw the starting line-up. Finally my wish to see a Messi-less Barcelona came true. I’m so happy that Tito was brave enough to rest our GOALMACHINE. He needs a break every now and then. He like every human being would do good with a little rest in between.

    It was awesome to see the players maintain a high level of performance even without Messi on the pitch. Thiago had a good game in midfield. Xavi was at his supercomposed+superdominant as always. My only concern is the fact that Tello seems to be playing with alot of nervousness. I don’t understand why exactly…but his confidence seems to be very low. I could tell that from his first touches to his decision making. In many occasions he almost seems scared to receive the ball. I feel he is playing with alot of fear that he will make a mistake in his mind. Sigh!! He really has to take his chances in the next few games. Pep and Tito rates him very highly and has very high hopes on him to take his game to the next level. For now, i’ll still wait on him,,,but for how long??….i really don’t know. On paper,,,David Villa should really take that left already.

  3. And who would have thought that just after 4 rounds Barcelona would be at 8 points ahead of the arch rival!
    The way things are unraveling was unimaginable just a few months ago: A Barcelona without Pep or Messi in the starting line up. Yes, it is the end of an era and the beginning of another. Tito seems to not want to pledge allegiance to any player and I LOVE THAT. Instead, we saw a team that played well with or without Messi. Under Pep, Messi on the bench would have been called “defeatism”. Tito’s courage in thought and concept was vindicated by the fantastic displays we saw from all players who started the game (from Montoya to Tello). I was very glad to see Thiago come back and his balanced combination of strenght on the ball, technical skill and acceleration opened a window into what CAN BE for this team.
    Now, we’ve already won in Anoeta and Getafe, teams that both beat us last year. Is that indicative of anything at this stage? not necessarily, as I am certain that we will lose 2 or 3 games before the fat lady sings. However, I am seeing a different dynamic with this team and truth be told I do not even think that we’ve scratched the surface yet, as our successes this year will be dictated by how well we blend Alex Song’s raw talent and physical prowess to the sheer genuis of Xavi, Iniesta, and Messi. I am singling out Alex Song because I believe that either he or Busquets might be called to fill the central defender’s position. That position is our weakest point at this stage in the tourney and Puyol’s injury yesterday makes things even more worrisome as we move forward. Mascherano? yes, he played well in this position last year but he seems a bit off this year and might be confused because between playing defending mid for Argentina and Stopper for Barcelona, he is having to change his references on the pitch constantly and that is leading to quite a few mistakes on his part, mistakes that could cost us dearly. I watched the Argentina/Peru game just to see how well he played the defending mid position and, just as aforementioned, he seemed a bit lost. So, that having been said I am very pleased with the choices Tito’s made and he seems to be playing in a different league than Jose Mourinho!

  4. Fredegar says:

    Well, that’s a pretty brilliant start to the season, particularly if you consider that we won in two difficult places where we lost last year and also beat Valencia at home!
    10 home grown players out of eleven is an amazing number, and just incredible when you consider that two of the five best players in the world who happen to come out of La Masia were not in the starting line up. I haven’t seen the game yesterday, but I’ve had great hopes for Montoya since I saw him play for Spain U21, with him and Alba we probably have the two Spain full backs for the ten years to come, and both come out of our ranks. Our formation will never stop to impress, how is it possible that we are able to “produce” world stars for every position on the pitch?
    I like very much that Tito seems to want to rotate his team: possibly one flaw of Guardiola’s methods (and God knows they were successful) was that they were too intense. As a fan, I finished last season completely washed, so I imagine the team were reacting a bit along these lines, and in fact we always looked tired when the end of the season was coming. Maybe Tito’s methods will balance a bit better the energy levels over the whole season, although of course the risk is that constant rotation unsettles the team. Wait and see!

  5. Caleb says:

    Masch does seem a bit off.

    This was a great performance.

    I’m with Diatus in saying that it was a good move to rest Messi. I never did like when I would hear that two players got to play whenever they wanted under Pep: Messi and Xavi.

    I think no player is bigger than the team and the manager has to call the shots if there is to be real structure on the team.

    Really happy with this win. It was not an easy fixture and the team made it look easy.

  6. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    I really hope Messi is given more rest when needed as the season develops. The team needs to find their ways to play as a unit. This is only possible when Messi is not playing. The contribution of goals from the rest of our front line has got to improve this season. If Villa, Sanchez, Pedro and Tello can have atleast 55 goals between them this season,,,we will WIN BIG!!

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