Barcelona are back in third place and continue to control their own destiny in the La Liga title race thanks to a 5-2 win over Getafe at Camp Nou. Barça were far from their best and conceded some silly goals, but scored when needed and grabbed all three points at home.
Getafe came to Camp Nou with a clear plan: not play football. The visitors set up in a back four that looked a lot like a back six most of the time, and they could not offer any threat at all to Barça in the opening minutes. In fact, after Lionel Messi’s beautiful opening goal, Getafe scored a lucky equalizer thanks to a Clément Lenglet own goal in what was their only attack of the entire first half.
The rest of the period was about Barça’s patience and ability to break the oposition down, and they struggled with that at times until Sofian Chakla scored a hilarious own goal to put the Blaugrana ahead. With the relief of being ahead again, Barça looked more calm and dangerous in possession, and Messi scored again to double the home team’s lead.
At halftime, Barça were the only team who wanted to play football and they deserved to be ahead.
Ronald Koeman made two substitutions at halftime to rest Gerard Piqué and Lenglet for the weekend, and Frenkie De Jong was moved to central defense. That move seemed to unsettle a Barça team that had finished the first half playing well, and they couldn’t be as dynamic in possession with Ilaix Moriba in the middle of the park and De Jong further behind.
There was less movement in the final third and almost zero runs into the box, and Barça were slow and uninspired in possession. Getafe continued to defend very deep but showed a little more intent to attack, and that’s how they got a penalty when Ronald Araujo fouled Enes Ünal inside the box. The Getafe striker scored from the spot, and it was game on with 20 minutes left to play.
Getafe were back in the game but still didn’t try as hard as they could to go forward in search of an equalizer, and Barça did a good job of passing the ball around and letting the clock run out. And with three minutes to go, Messi took a corner and Araujo redeemed himself for the earlier penalty with a great header at the near post to make it 4-2 and effectively kill the contest.
There were still time for Antoine Griezmann to win a penalty and score from the spot in the last minute of stoppage time, and the final score came to end a pretty comfortable win for Barça.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Umtiti 75’), Piqué (Araujo 46’), Lenglet (Moriba 46’); Roberto (Trincão 64’), De Jong, Busquets, Pedri, Alba; Messi, Griezmann
Goals: Messi (8’, 33’), Chakla (OG 28’), Araujo (87’), Griezmann (pen 90’+3)
Getafe: Soria; Suárez, Djené, Chakla, Cucurella (Akuguru 46’); Chema (Miranda 76’); Iglesias, Aleñá (Abdulai 46’), Maksimovic (Arambarri 46’), Kubo; Ángel (Ünal 63’)
Goals: Lenglet (OG 12’), Ünal (pen 69’)