Barcelona came away from the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez with a 2-0 victory over Getafe on Saturday afternoon, thanks to goals from Luis Suárez and Junior Firpo. The opening half-hour was a cagey affair in the Spanish capital, Getafe were dogged, set up in their typical 4-4-2 formation, preventing a starting XI without Lionel Messi from penetrating. Goals either side of half time ensured all three points headed north-east, the Catalan’s first away win of the campaign on a sunny Saturday in Madrid.
The Story of The Game
Getafe had only lost once all season going into the fixture, that came on the opening day away to Atletico Madrid. Having lost 1-0 in Bilbao and 2-0 in Granada, Barcelona were looking for that coveted first away win. Despite not losing to Getafe since 2011 Ernesto Valverde expected a tough test at the Coliseum.
On-loan winger Jason broke down the right side for the hosts early on to cross for Ángel Rodríguez but his volley sailed over. Barcelona controlled the possession and tempo; Arthur Melo, Frenkie De Jong, and Sergio Busquets outnumbered a two-man Getafe midfield and looked to find Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann played the Lionel Messi roaming role, looking for pockets of space between the lines to link with Suarez.
Allan Nyom’s heavy first touch let the rapid Carles Pérez sweep in, beat two defenders to go through on goal towards the penalty spot but his effort was straight at David Soria and only warmed the shot-stopper up. Marc-André ter Stegen came to his team’s rescue minutes later as Jaime Mata played in strike partner Ángel who slipped past Sergi Roberto, but his shot was well saved by the German, getting down early to deny the effort with his left leg.
Right before half time, it was ter Stegen again, the sweeper-keeper chested the ball outside his penalty area before sending a 60-yard left-footed pass which bounced twice before Getafe’s 18-yard line, Suárez snuck in, read the pass and without taking a touch lobbed David Soria to make it 1-0. The assist was the first from a Barcelona goalkeeper in the 21st century.
The Blaugrana got their second right after the break. Carlos Pérez stung Soria’s hands from 25 yards out, the ball fell into the path of Junior Firpo, who tucked it away on the rebound from close range. It was the left back’s first goal since joining from Real Betis and it proved crucial. Getafe struggled to get into it or threaten a solid defensive line, controlled by Gerard Pique alongside Clement Lenglet. 37-year-old veteran striker Jorge Molina went close with a header late on from an inswinging left-wing cross through on-loan Chelsea winger Kenedy.
Clement Lenglet was dismissed with eight minutes remaining for a second bookable offence. The challenge was late, one that sent him through the back of Molina, with no attempt to play the ball. Having appealed for a VAR decision, the Frenchman was given his marching orders. Despite being reduced to 10 men, Valverde’s men held out for maximum points and got their first win on the road since back in April, when they defeated Alavés by the same scoreline, 2-0 at Mendizorroza.
Barcelona first away win since April
Barcelona were without a win in seven away games since their 2-0 victory at Alavés back in April. Putting their recent dismal 2-0 defeat to Granada to bed was the objective at the Coliseum. A 2-2 draw at Osasuna was their only point on the road in the 2019/20 season. Without Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembélé and Ansu Fati, it proved a tricky fixture, against a Getafe side that finished fifth in LaLiga in 2018/19. The win, a second in four days, having beaten Villarreal 2-1 at Camp Nou, gives the Catalans some momentum ahead of next month’s Clásico.
Getafe continue to rotate in the club’s biggest season to date
José Bordalás stuck to his tried-and-tested despite trying to nullify a three-man Barcelona midfield, setting up in his traditional 4-4-2. The games are coming thick and fast for Getafe due to their European exploits. It’s proving difficult for Los Azulones to field their strongest starting XI. Club captain Jorge Molina came on with half an hour to go, with Angel starting up top alongside Jaime Mata. The 2018/19 campaign saw a very similar starting XI week in, week out which enabled Getafe to perform consistently and grab a European spot. This season is a much bigger test on the squad with Europa League involvement.
"We're obliged to rotate," he explained.
"There are a lot of matches in a very small period. We have to be aware that our players aren't supermen.
"We have to be careful so that injuries don't occur."
Defensive concerns for Barcelona after Lenglet’s red card.
Clement Lenglet was dismissed late on which is worrying for head coach Valverde. Samuel Umtiti is currently injured, while Gerard Pique is also a booking away from a ban. 19-year-old French defender Jean-Clair Todibo may feature alongside Pique against Sevilla on 6th October.