Taking the three points off Getafe proved a lot harder on Thursday night than Barça’s flying start and the final score might suggest. The visitors were still in contention with just three minutes to go, when a Ronald Araujo header and an Antoine Griezmann penalty finally put things to bed.
The three points leave Barça five points adrift of Atlético Madrid, who had beaten Huesca earlier in the day, but the Catalans have a game in hand and the league leaders still have to visit Camp Nou – which means Barça’s destiny is still very much in their own hands.
Messi on fire
Barça attacked this game straight by the horns. Leo Messi had already hit the bar when Sergio Busquets sent him powering through on goal a second time. Djene Dakoman couldn’t hold the Argentinian back and a perfect strike was hammered into the top corner of the net.
Own goals at each end
It was all looking beautiful, but it didn’t take long for Getafe to get back on level terms. Ángel’s shot didn’t look to be going anywhere but it took a deflection of Clement Lenglet’s arm and that was 1-1.
If that was unfortunate, the circumstances of Barça’s second goal were calamitous. Sofian Chakla tapped a simple back pass to David Soria – but the goalkeeper wasn’t where the Moroccan expected him to be and the ball trickled into an empty net! Ooops!
Soon after it was 3-1, and it was that man Messi again. He thundered his volley onto the post (what is it with Messi and the woodwork!) but he was the fastest man onto the rebound to grab his second goal of the night. Happy days!
Getafe bite back
With the game looking fairly done and dusted, the second half got off to a somewhat lacklustre start. That was until the 69th minute when VAR took a second look at an incident involving Araujo and Enes Ünal and decided it was worth a penalty.
The Turkish international himself took the kick, scored, and Getafe were back in with a sniff.
They knew it, and buoyed by the goal and knowing that they had already drawn with Real Madrid this week, the visitors started looking a lot more dangerous.
Araujo seals it
Barça needed a comfort goal, but it didn’t come until there were just three minutes left on the clock. Messi delivered the corner and Araujo’s head met it at the near post.
Boom! 4-2 and game over.
And put the icing on the cake, deep into injury time Griezmann was brought down in the area. The Frenchman took and scored the penalty to round off a crucial 5-2 victory.
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