Barcelona’s been wobbling since the calendar flipped. Saturday’s win over third-place Getafe could offer some balance.
First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Sergi Roberto were enough for Barcelona to cancel out Ángel Rodríguez’s spectacular volley and win 2-1 at the Nou Camp. Marc-André ter Stegen was also excellent in net.
So far in 2020, the Catalans have dropped five points in the tight La Liga title race, crashed out of the Copa del Rey in the quarterfinals and fired manager Ernesto Valverde. More distressingly, soft-spoken megastar Lionel Messi has publicly rebuked the club’s director of football, and the possibility he may leave is as uncomfortably realistic as it’s been in some time.
But this being Barcelona, “crisis” is as relative as the term gets. They’re now level with Real Madrid atop the league, though their eternal rivals could jump back ahead points-wise when they play tomorrow.
The showpiece moment from Saturday’s encounter was Rodríguez’s volley, picking out the inside of the right post and cutting Barcelona’s two-goal lead in half (via beIN Sports):
The power and precision froze ter Stegen. It might have been the only time he was second-best all day.
Ter Stegen’s best moment came in the 72nd minute, when he denied Ángel point-blank off a free kick. Two deflections were required to keep the ball out, and ter Stegen then scrambled to knock it off the goal line again as Jaime Mata and Xabier Etxeita were waiting to pounce.
The remarkable sequence preserved a lead Barcelona built thanks to a strong first half. Messi nutmegged Etxeita with a brilliant first-time ball into space, which Griezmann dinked into the net:
Sergi Roberto scored the second goal a few minutes later, firing home a Junior Firpo cross to finish off an excellent team build-up:
Barcelona also benefitted from VAR, which ruled Allan Nyom fouled Samuel Umtiti to free himself to punch home a rebound in the 23rd minute.
So the win was close, but maybe it was always going to be. Getafe is excellent defensively and has talented finishers in the attack. They have a good chance of qualifying for the Champions League for the first time in club history this spring.
Count this as a notable victory for Barcelona. Those are becoming harder to come by.
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Published: 2020-02-15 17:09:36
Tags: #Barcelona #beats #Getafe #Angel #Rodriguez #golazo #video