FC Barcelona: 5 Points to Take Away from Getafe
Barcelona welcomed Getafe to Camp Nou after a disappointing performance in Zaragoza.
Pep Guardiola was missing Dani Alves and Gerard Pique and was forced to get creative on defense.
Getafe beat Barcelona the first time they played in November. This was not quite the rematch Luis Garcia Plaza was hoping for.
This one was over before the half-hour mark.
Lionel Messi continued his great season with another goal and two assists, giving him 39 and 16 on the season.
How was the rest of the squad, though? Did anyone help take pressure off the little Argentinian?
Read on to find out.
Here are five points we take away from the match.
Guardiola Has No Fear
After the Zaragoza match, many of you asked what I expected Pep's lineup to be against Getafe.
I said he would not risk using a three-man defense, especially with Adriano as a third CB.
I underestimated his fortitude.
Not only did Pep use a three-man defense that included Adriano, he even had Carles Puyol on the attack at times.
Pep further risked exposing the squad by fielding four attackers.
I cannot think of any other coach who would take such risks this late in the season
This comes just three days after nearly dropping points to a team fighting relegation, and with Barcelona, needed a win to stay in the title race.
It would be hard to question Guardiola's decision after this result. It would be hard to question anything he has done this season.
Goal-Line Technology: Xavi Another Believer
I hate to beat a dead horse, but the need for this technology was made apparent yet again.
Add Xavi's name to a long list of people denied by the its lack of presence.
In the 18th minute of Barcelona's match against Getafe, Xavi was robbed of a beautiful goal—or was he?
I will let you decide: Watch the video here.
After a brilliant pass from Messi, Xavi chipped the ball over Moya before Diaz made an incredible run to pull the ball out.
Whether or not it crossed the line is debatable, but the cries for goal-line technology will be even louder.
Barcelona Continues to Improve
One major weakness of Barcelona's this season has been that Lionel Messi takes on too much of the scoring load.
Just last weekend, we saw how dangerous this can be for the club. When Messi does not score, Barcelona are in trouble.
It seems Barcelona are well aware of this weakness and are trying to fix it.
Within the first two minutes, two other players put the ball in the net—Alexis and Xavi.
There is still too much dependency on Messi, but if the other forwards can help out like they did against Getafe, it would create even more problems for opposing defenses.
It would also free Messi up even more.
Messi's Critics Have It Backwards
Lionel Messi is widely regarded as the best player of his generation, but even he has critics.
One of the few reasons people question his ability is that he plays on the best team in the world.
Some argue that lots of players could do what he does on that team. Some say he only scores because of his teammates.
I issue a challenge to those people: Watch more Barcelona football.
Against Getafe we saw another example of how inaccurate that critique is.
Three goals—and Xavi's would-be goal—happened because of Messi.
Messi's scored a screamer after great link-up play with Iniesta. He also provided assists to Alexis and Pedro.
Messi undoubtedly benefits from having great teammates, but so does every elite player in football.
As much as Messi is so great because of his teammates, Barcelona only get results because of Messi.
Your Move, Jose
This week's scheduling did no favors for Real Madrid.
Jose Mourinho's men have an extremely difficult derby against Atletico just three days after dropping points to Valencia.
In addition, they also had to watch Barcelona play beforehand.
Real are clearly under a lot of pressure to perform right now, and seeing Barcelona temporarily close the gap to one point cannot do much to comfort Los Merengues.
Jose Mourinho will now need to have his team focused on just the derby and their own results in order to avoid dropping anymore points.
If we arrive to El Clasico with Real able to lose the lead in that match, the advantage would surely be Barcelona's.
What Did You Learn?
What points did you take away from this match?
Do you think Pep should keep taking such risks this late in the season?
Is the attack improving enough for you?
How do you expect Real Madrid to respond against Atletico.
I look forward to hearing your thoughts.