Messi secures Barca win and La Liga top spot
Getafe 0 – 2 Barcelona
Getafe held the best recent record against the reigning European and domestic champions – proving unbeaten in their last four meetings – before last night’s home defeat, and it required the introductions of Messi and Iniesta to secure Barcelona’s win.
The home side came within inches of taking the lead after 12 minutes at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.
Juan Albin’s vicious left foot strike from the edge of the area crashed against the underside of the crossbar and bounced out to the relief of the helpless Valdes.
On 28 minutes Getafe again came close. Leon’s ball into the box was met by Saldado with an acrobatic overhead kick that struck the post from just 10 yards.
Barcelona’s best effort was produced by summer-signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic just before the break.
The Swedish striker collected a cross perfectly inside the box as he held off the attention of the defender and hit a low drive that was saved by Getafe’s Oscar Ustari.
Barcelona were in desperate need of some craft despite the best efforts of Spain star Xavi.
Leo Messi and Andreas Iniesta were released onto the pitch minutes short of the hour mark, but it was Xavi who was next to test the goalkeeper.
His dipping long-range hit on the turn was brilliantly tipped over by Ustari.
The substitutions changed the tide for the away side and Barcelona took the lead just seven minutes after their arrival.
Left back Eric Abidal crossed low into the box for Ibrahimovic to flick an effort inside the six-yard box that crept in against the post.
Getafe had only managed to force Valdes into one save before Barca scored again.
Second-half substitute Dani Alves whipped a ball into the box for Ibrahimovic to chest down and tee up the arriving Leo Messi to head in from close-range.
The action was completed on 85 minutes by the Swedish star after his sliding effort was saved by Ustari.
Getafe: Ustari, Lopez, Diaz, Mane, Cortes, Gonzalez (Rios, 82), Parejo (Casquero, 59), Celestini, Albin, Leon (Manu, 67), Soldado
Barcelona: Valdes, Puyol (Dani Alves, 67), Chygryinskiy, Pique, Abidal, Xavi, Toure, Keita, Pedro (Iniesta, 57), Ibrahimovic, Jeffren (Messi, 57)
Man of the Match: Zlatan Ibrahimovic – scored the first and created the second for Messi in a great all-round attacking performance.
Saturday’s other La Liga Results:
Seville 4 – 1 Zaragoza
Atletico Madrid 1 – 1 Racing Santander