FC Barcelona hosted Getafe today with a chance to draw level on points with league leader Real Madrid. Setien made a few changes to the starting lineup, giving Nelson Semedo a rest and slotting Sergi Roberto in the right back position. We also were able to see arguably the strongest midfield trio Barcelona has with Busquets as the pivot and De Jong and Arthur playing next to the Spaniard. A strong lineup to face one of the strongest defenses in La Liga this season.
After seeing a Getafe goal ruled out correctly for a foul on Samuel Umtiti, Barcelona was able to respond and apply pressure on the Madrid side. In the 33rd minute, Messi redirected the ball perfectly to find Greizmann in his stride and he was able to chip the goalkeeper and give Barcelona a 1-0 lead. That is Messi’s fourth assist in two games. Shortly after the opening strike, Firpo gathered the ball on the left flank and was able to pick out Sergi Roberto at the back post for Sergi Roberto’s first goal of the season and first goal in La Liga since 2017.
The second half was similar to the first half. The high intensity from Getafe was not allowing Barcelona to find their stride as they were constantly fouled. Angel Rodriguez was able to find space in between Umtiti and Pique. He did not miss his chance to score against possibly his future club.
With Barcelona leading 2-1, they once again started knocking on the door but could not finish their chances. Getafe came closer to equalizing as they took over the game late. Eventually Barcelona was able to control the final minutes and the match ended in a Barcelona 2-1 win.
Today’s performance came with a few concerns but many positives. First, Jordi Alba seems to have picked up an injury that may have him sidelined for the near future. With only sixteen first team players available, Jordi’s absence is going to leave Barcelona short handed. Secondly, the matter in which Barcelona has been closing out games is a bit concerning.
Getafe had chances to even the game during the final fifteen minutes. Similar to the matches against Betis and Levante, Barcelona was uncomfortable in the back during key moments of the match. Barcelona must close these matches out and not allow the opposition any opportunity to steal points, especially with how close the table currently is.
Barcelona will now host Éibar next Saturday before traveling to Italy to face Napoli in the Champions League.