Barça in the pink against Getafe (1-3)
FC Barcelona produced a domineering display against Getafe to secure all three points on Sunday evening as Lionel Messi, David Villa and Pedro all scored in a game in which Gerard Piqué was sent off.
Barcelona (FCB).- Pep Guardiola felt it would be a tough test for his players, but will have been delighted by how the visitors to the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez dominated for almost the entire 90 minutes with only a red card and a penalty blotting their copybook. The groundwork for the win was undoubtedly laid in the first half as Barça enjoyed 76 per cent of the possession and were ruthless in front of goal.
Getafe set out to defend and try to catch their guests on the break, but FC Barcelona were in an insatiable mood and did not allow them to counter as the ball remained encamped in the home team's half. In only the fourth minute Villa had his first effort on goal only for Jordi Codina to deny him with a save. That proved only to be a respite however as the quick passing style that has won Barça so many fans around the world was clearly in evidence with Xavi Hernández standing out as he pulled the strings in midfield.
Alves, Messi and Villa
It took 22 minutes for the deadlock to be broken and when the opening goal came it was well worth the wait. Messi began the move that saw passes threaded together between Dani Alves and Villa inside the Getafe area before Messi was picked out on the right of the area and he took a touch before clipping the ball past the keeper at the near post. A huge number of Blaugrana fans celebrated along with the players and the goal only proved to spur the visitors on as they maintained their level of play and searched for another.
Villa was again denied by Codina and the linesman's flag prevented that second goal arriving earlier, but it was in minute 34 when the advantage was doubled. Messi turned provider as he clipped the ball in behind the Getafe defence and Villa pushed it forward to create an angle before hammering home a shot that left Codina with no chance.
Messi was enjoying his evening and he chased and harried when he did not have the ball as well as look to trick and jink his way past opponents when he did. Getafe were unsure how to cope with the Argentinian or any of his team-mates as Alves and Pedro pushed on time and again on one side while Villa, Maxwell and Andrés Iniesta also did. Víctor Valdés went in at the break having had a quiet evening, but he was given the chance to prove his worth as the game progressed in the second half.
Pedro and Piqué
In the 65th minute Getafe did themselves no favours when Cata Diaz saw his pass hit Messi as the Barça forward closed him down and the ball fell to Pedro who finished in style to put the visitors three ahead. That appeared to be game over but the referee gave the hosts a helping hand as he sent Piqué off in the 69th minute after the defender deflected a low cross in the area with his arm. Manu del Moral tucked the resulting penalty past Valdés and the keeper had to be on his toes to make several smart saves to keep his team two goals ahead in the closing minutes. Changes were made to protect that lead too by Guardiola and the Blaugrana held on to claim the spoils.
0-1 Messi (min 22)
0-2 Villa (min 34)
0-3 Pedro (min 65)
1-3 Del Moral (min 69)