La Liga, Camp Nou - Barcelona 2 (Griezmann 33', Roberto 39') Getafe 1 (Angel 66')
Barcelona drew level on points with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga with a hard-fought 2-1 win over third place Getafe at Camp Nou.
Injuries to Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez meant Ansu Fati started once again for the Catalans and their injury troubles worsened still when Jordi Alba was forced off in the first half of this match. With games against Napoli and Real Madrid looming, the left back’s absence could have a real impact.
The visitors looked to have taken the lead after 23 minutes when Allan Nyom slammed home a loose ball from a corner kick. However, VAR showed that he had fouled Samuel Umtiti prior to the goal being scored.
Antoine Griezmann opened the scoring for real soon after, prodding a shot past David Soria following a wonderful flicked through ball from Lionel Messi. And it was 2-0 before the break, with Sergi Roberto converting at the back post after a Junior Firpo cross into the box.
Angel Rodriguez halved the deficit with an excellent side-foot volley finish past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen in a moment that will only heighten speculation linking him with a move to Camp Nou, but Barcelona got the three points over the line to apply pressure on Real Madrid ahead of their match at home to Celta Vigo on Sunday evening.
TALKING POINT - Jordi Alba’s absence will add to Quique Setien injury headache
Setien could have done without another injury to a key player, but now he has one with Alba withdrawn early in the first half with a right adductor injury. This surely means the left back will face a race against time to be fit for the Champions League last 16 tie against Napoli and the Clasico against Real Madrid at the start of next month. Barca claimed three points here, but it came at a cost.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)
Messi has now gone four games without finding the back of the net. For the great man, this constitutes a drought. However, he has also contributed six assists over those four games with another one here. Indeed, while Messi appears to have lost his cutting edge for the time being, he remains Barcelona’s beating heart. Everything flows through him.
Barcelona - ter Stegen 8, Roberto 7, Pique 7, Umtiti, 6 Alba 3, Busquets 5, de Jong 5, Arthur 6, Messi 8, Griezmann 7, Ansu 6. Subs - Rakitic 5, Firpo 7, Vidal 4.
16’ Big chance for Messi! That might have been the opener. Busquets clipped the pass over the top for Messi, he tried to lob Soria, but the Getafe goalkeeper is able to make the straightforward catch. That was a big chance.
20’ Alba injury! The Barcelona left back's game is over. Alba looks to have pulled something and he will have to come off after just 20 minutes. Firpo is being prepared to come on here.
23’ GOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Getafe: Getafe have taken the lead at Camp Nou! Molina won the initial header from the corner kick to force ter Stegen into a reflex save, but Nyom reacted quickest and finished into the back of the Barcelona net. VAR is going to take a look at a potential foul on Umtiti.
25’ GOAL RULED OUT! The referee has decided that it was indeed a foul from Nyom on Umtiti and Barcelona survive. We are still on level terms. That was probably the correct call. Nyom did look to foul the centre back.
33’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Getafe: Somewhat against the run of play in the first half, Barcelona have taken the lead! Messi played a wonderful first time pass around the corner for Griezmann and the French forward prods a clever finish past Soria and into the back of the net!
40’ GOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Getafe: The Catalans have doubled their advantage! Firpo gets down the left side and cuts back the ball for Roberto who passes the finish into the back of the net! What a passing move that was from Barcelona! That's Setien football! That's what he wants to see!
67’ GOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Getafe: What a finish and we have a game on our hands again! Angel met the cross into the area with a first-time volley from just inside the box. Ter Stegen couldn't adjust in time and the Getafe forward finds the bottom corner of the Barcelona net!
74’ What a save from Ter Stegen! The German goalkeeper keeps Barcelona ahead! Arambarri's freekick from the left side found Angel at the back post, but Ter Stegen saved! He had four bites at the stop!
76’ How did Griezmann miss?! That was a sitter! Firpo's cut back ended up at the feet of the French forward completely free, completely unmarked eight yards out, but he blasts over the top of the crossbar! Wow!
91’ Messi nearly kills it! That would have been a trademark strike from the Argentine, curling a left-footed strike towards the top corner, but the ball flashes just past the post with Soria beaten! What a goal that would have been.
Angel Rodriguez has now scored eight goals off the bench for Getafe this season - no player has ever scored more as a substitute in La Liga this century.
Antoine Griezmann has had a direct involvement in seven goals in his last eight appearances against Getafe (four goals and three assists).