La Liga review: Getafe CF 1 – 4 FC Barcelona: Exterminate the FIFA virus!By: Natasha | September 16th, 2012
Is this what beating the FIFA virus looks like? A 1-4 victory over Getafe after an international break! Madness. The same team who beat Barça last season and also managed to overcome Real Madrid a few weeks ago. Apparently that’s enough to make Getafe the biggest threat ever...
So for the reasons above, many of us were wary. Getafe can be tricky customers. They have a tendency to park the bus and you know how good Barça are against defensive teams…well…often not very good at all. Tito went with the following lineup to try and conquer Team Burger King: VV – Montoya, Piqué, Puyol, Adriano – Busquets, Xavi, Thiago – Pedro, Cesc, Tello.
Ah, yes, no Messi. Not in the starting lineup anyway. Cue shock and horror and claims that the world is ending. Maybe. This match also marked the return of Thiago and Puyol sported a very fetching mask.
The first goal came from none other than Adriano, who appears to be on some kind of goalscoring streak. His goal was assisted by none other than…Cesc. Yes, Cesc! The same guy who went on to assist Villa’s goal in the second half and didn’t disappear into anonymity as he’s had a tendency to do this season. As for Adriano, though – what’s happened here? Could be the competition from Jordi Alba has made him step up his game or maybe he’s just hit his peak form when it matters. It looks like Adriano is willing to fight for his place on the team and if he keeps up this improved form, Jordi Alba has work to do, considering he was bought to be Barça’s first choice left back.
Messi starting on the bench was an excellent decision from Tito. Despite him single-handedly winning Barça’s past couple of matches, he wasn’t himself. But when he came on in the second half, the game took off. Two goals – one penalty and one from open play. Not bad, huh? Everyone has dips in form and Messi is no exception, but he looked like his usual self last night. Maybe someone was handing out lollypops on the bench? Is this some kind of new tactic? I like it! Apart from that, though, resting Messi was a good move. Why? To me, it seemed like everyone on the pitch was taking the initiative to attack and not just pass the ball to Messi and hope for the best. Too many times we’ll see a killer pass reach Messi, only for him to immediately be surrounded by defenders. Teams know to swarm Messi but when he’s not there, they don’t quite know who to mark.
For all the worry, Getafe turned out to be a damp squib. I thought they’d really bring the game to Barça, either that or park the bus (because we all know that’s a great strategy…!) but they did neither. They were lucky to score, and they didn’t really have much part in the goal – a shot that was twice deflected on the way and was technically an own goal from Mascherano – and that was about it. I guess being sponsored by Burger King has its downfalls…
Unfortunately Puyol picked up an injury during the second half. It looks like he’ll be out for 4-6 weeks – hopefully not the full 6 weeks, but it seems like he’ll definitely miss the first Liga Clasico. Piqué seems to be back at his best, so this might not be entirely disastrous. I was terrified every time Puyol got near the ball anyway – we could do without him hurting his cheekbone again. But you know he’d still play on regardless.
Thiago and Montoya did themselves proud. Thiago looks to be completely over his injury and his performance did the talking. Montoya managed to go the whole 90 minutes without my commentator making one comparison between him and Dani Alves – that’s a good thing! Tello, unfortunately, wasn’t great at all. He had quite a few missed chances but let’s not be overly harsh on him. Everyone had a very strong match last night and it’s unfortunate that Tello didn’t.
People are talking about this new player we signed this summer. David Villa? Yeah? Alright, not a new signing, but he may as well be. Before he broke his leg last season, he wasn’t having the best of seasons, but he’s back with a point to prove. So far so good. After not seeing him on the pitch for so long, I almost forgot what a brilliant finisher he is, and a huge threat too. Throw in an ever-improving Pedro to the mix, and we might just see MVP back and even better than before.
The fourth match of the season is usually too soon to tell how the whole year will pan out, but I’m very impressed with Tito so far. You know there was nowhere near enough rotation last season and Pep wouldn’t dare to rest Messi, even when he desperately needed it. It looks like Tito won’t have any problems with rotating the squad when he feels the need to. I think that’s what Barça need. You saw how tired they were when the crucial games were coming up – Champions League knockout stages, league deciding Liga matches, the buildup to the Copa del Rey – and the fatigue played a huge part in missing out on the league and the CL.
And finally, there’s the small matter of Real Madrid’s match last night too. A 0-1 loss to Sevilla. This puts Barça…*drumroll*…8 points ahead of RM. You probably knew that already. There are plenty of people out there to remind us all that “the league isn’t won yet!” and it’s not, but 8 points ahead of our rivals? Already? I’ll take that. It’s not my place to speculate on what may or may not be happening in the RM camp, but going by what Mourinho has said, it doesn’t look good. I can predict two outcomes – either Mou manages to rally the team and they come out fighting for the upcoming Clasico, or there are more problems and bad result. Knowing Mourinho, you can probably bet that the outcome will be the former.
Next week will be interesting. Barça have their first Champions League match against Spartak Moscow at home on Wednesday and then Grenada, also at the Camp Nou, on Saturday. As our wise RB, Dani Alves, once said, “the league is decided on the away matches”…something like that anyway. It seems like our players have their fight back (something that was missing last season) and a point to prove. On this occasion, I am going to skip the player ratings as the new university term is starting tomorrow and I am terribly unorganised and I also think the entire team were excellent and can’t criticise at all. But lets hear what you have to say!
Some Related Barcelona Posts:
- La Liga Preview Getafe – FC Barcelona: Take No Prisoners
- La Liga Review: FC Barcelona 5, Real Sociedad 1, Or, La Liga Is Back, Villa Is Back, MVP Is Back!