A Lionel Messi brace propelled Barcelona to a 5-2 home win over Getafe, keeping the Catalans on the tail of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the title race.
Ronald Koeman only made one change to the team that beat Athletic Club in the final of the Copa del Rey on Saturday with Sergi Roberto coming in to replace Sergino Dest at right wing back.
It took Barca just eight minutes to break the deadlock when Messi found the back of the net after being released in behind the opposition defence by a pass from deep by Sergio Busquets.
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Their lead, however, only lasted four minutes as Clement Lenglet diverted a Marc Cucurella cross into his own net. An own goal by Sofian Chakla moments later was an even bigger calamity, as David Soria was exposed a long way off his line.
Messi added his second, and Barcelona’s third, of the night after 33 minutes, converting from a tight angle after picking up his rebound from a shot off the inside of the far post.
Getafe were given a lifeline in the second half when Ronald Araujo conceded a penalty not long after being introduced off the bench with Enes Unal stepping up to make it 3-2 with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Koeman demonstrated his anger on the touchline as Barcelona’s performance fell flat, but Araujo’s late header was enough to calm the nerves while Antoine Griezmann added a fifth from the spot in stoppage time.
This was enough for the Catalans to clinch the three points needed to take them above Sevilla in the La Liga table and to within two points of Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Barca trail Atletico Madrid by five points.

Leo Messi (Barcelona)

Image credit: Getty Images

TALKING POINT - Was Ronald Koeman’s anger with Oscar Mingueza justified?

While Barcelona ultimately got the job done here, there was a spell in the second half which saw the Catalans allow Getafe back into the game. Koeman appeared to focus his fury on Oscar Mingueza who was hooked for Samuel Umtiti. Mingueza seemingly attempted to make peace with the Dutchman, but was ignored. Is this the right way to treat a young player who has done exceptionally well to become a key figure for Barcelona this season?

MAN OF THE MATCH - Lionel Messi (Barcelona)

He was the main man in the Copa del Rey final victory over Athletic Club at the weekend and Messi picked up where he left off with another sparkling performance here. The 33-year-old has been re-energised in recent weeks, giving Getafe all sorts of problems. His first half display was particularly eye-catching, scoring twice and crashing an effort off the underside of the crossbar. Messi in this mood isn’t going to leave Barcelona at the end of the season. Surely?

PLAYER RATINGS

Barcelona - Ter Stegen 5, Mingueza 5, Pique 6, Lenglet 5, Alba 6, de Jong 8, Busquets 7, Roberto 5, Messi 9, Griezmann 7, Pedri 6. Subs - Umtiti 5, Araujo 6, Trincao 5, Ilaix 7.
Getafe - Soria 4, Chema 5, Chakla 4, Dakonam 5, Iglesias 5, Cucurella 6, Alena 5, Maksimovic 5, Suarez 4, Kubo 3, Angel 3. Subs - Abdulai 4, Unal 7, Arambarri 5.

KEY MOMENTS

4’ Off the crossbar! Inches away from an early opener for Barcelona! Messi takes aim from the edge of the box, but his strike crashes off the underside of the crossbar and bounces away off the line!
8’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Getafe: Barcelona have the lead and you'll never guess who has scored! Busquets played the pass in behind the Getafe defence, Messi controlled it, raced away from the opposition and fired a shot high into the roof of the net! What a brilliant goal!
12’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Getafe: This wasn't in the script! Cucurella was given time and space to fizz a cross into the box, Angel sent the ball towards the goal, but it was Lenglet who diverted it into the back of the net! He couldn't get out of the way in time. We're level!
29’ GOAL! Barcelona 2-1 Getafe: Oh dear. What a calamity for Getafe. Sofian attempted to play a back pass to his goalkeeper, but Soria was already rushing off his line and he couldn't claw it off the line! Barcelona have been gifted the lead! Such mis-communication for the away side.
33’ GOAL! Barcelona 3-1 Getafe: A third Barcelona goal and Messi has his second of the night! The Argentine struck the inside of the far post with his first effort, but he was on hand to pick up the rebound himself and put the ball in the back of the net from a very tight angle!
67’ PENALTY KICK TO GETAFE! The referee has awarded a spot kick for a foul by Araujo on Unal!
69’ GOAL! Barcelona 3-2 Getafe: Getafe have given themselves a way back into this match. Unal won the penalty and he's the one who steps up to convert into the back of the Barcelona net! The Catalans have eased off since the start of the second half. It's not over!
87’ GOAL! Barcelona 4-2 Getafe: Game over. That's the points in the bag for Barcelona. Messi's corner kick delivery to the near post was a good one, Araujo got his head to the ball and glanced it into the back of the net! There was nothing Soria could do to stop it!
90+3’ PENALTY KICK TO BARCELONA! Chalka fouls Griezmann inside the box and the spot kick has been given!
90+4’ GOAL! Barcelona 5-2 Getafe: Messi passes on the opportunity to secure his hat trick and instead hands the ball to Griezmann who smashes the spot kick into the back of the net off the inside of the right-hand post. The finishing touches on the win for Barcelona.

KEY STATS

  • Lionel Messi has now scored 23 goals in 23 appearances (all competitions) for Barcelona in 2021, including four in his last two games.
  • Messi is the only player in any of Europe’s big five leagues to score 25 or more league goals in each of the last 12 seasons.
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