Sunday, 20 March 2011
Match Report: Barcelona 2 Getafe 1
Barcelona recovered from a difficult week off the pitch to record a victory on it but they were made to sweat in the final seconds by a battling Getafe side.
Dani Alves and Bojan Krkic got the goals for the hosts who should have been out of sight by the time Manu pulled one back for Getafe with three minutes remaining. But in an amazing finale the visitors could have equalised with virtually the last kick of the game; Juan Albin’s miscontrol with only Victor Valdes to beat allowing Adriano to sweep the ball to safety.
Barcelona started at a typically frantic pace, Getafe the latest example of a side unable to escape their own half at the Camp Nou not through an attempt to park the bus, but through the champions’ intense pressing game.
Leo Messi was the first to threaten with a smart overhead kick that was blocked by Jordi Codina.
However, it didn’t take long for Barca to make the breakthrough and when they did it was a special goal. A loose ball fell on the edge of the Getafe area for Alves, arriving at speed, to bullet a half-volley with the outside of his right foot into the top corner.
The Barcelona fans then had their chance to show their respect to Eric Abidal, a minute of applause greeting the 22nd minute (the Frenchman’s squad number).
Barcelona then were somehow denied a second goal on the half hour. David Villa appeared to have been tripped by Cata Diaz and, even after the referee had waved away the appeals, Andres Iniesta played in Messi who rounded the goalkeeper and saw his shot cleared off the line.
Villa’s mood wasn’t helped when minutes later he was booked for diving in an incident involving the same two players. This time the former Valencia man did make more of the challenge but there did still appear to have been contact between the two.
Getafe were then nearly level when following good work from Manu on the left, Valdes denied Casquero with a sharp save. However, the midfielder will have been disappointed with his tame effort from close range.
Villa then passed up an opportunity to double the lead in what was to be a frustrating night for the Asturian, on this occasion skewing wide after he had turned the defence inside the area.
Four minutes into the second-half though, Barcelona were two ahead. Messi teeing up Bojan for a left foot strike that deflected past Codina.
The hosts then took a real stranglehold of the game. The major change from the first-half being not their dominance of possession but how high up the field they won it back, often no more than 20 yards from the visitors’ goal.
Villa passed up another two opportunities. Firstly, attempting to square for Messi instead of going for goal himself before a cute Iniesta pass saw the Spanish international in the clear but he shot straight at Codina.
In the final quarter Getafe had more of the game and could have been back in it with 20 minutes to go. Manu heading wide when unmarked at the back post from a corner.
Manu made amends with three minutes remaining, volleying home wonderfully from Victor Sanchez’s fine cross.
And with Barca hearts in mouths a long ball into the Barca box found Albin all alone but as he attempted to compose himself, Adriano nipped in to save his side from losing two precious points in the title race.
FT:Barcelona 2 (Alves 16, Bojan 49) – Getafe 1 (Manu 87)