For the first time since 1965, FC Barcelona played a game at midday.
Perhaps the futbol gods wanted to see how this team plays after Sunday morning mass.
Lionel Messi and the rest of el Blaugrana had no problem with the early start time as Barcelona rolled past Getafe 6-1 at the Camp Nou on Sunday.
Barça nearly had a shot at goal within the first two minutes as a Getafe set piece ended up a break for Lionel Messi and David Villa, but Leo's pass was a bit too far for el guaje.
Barça got the scoring going in the sixth minute as arguably the best pass in La Liga season was made by Andres Iniesta, having sent a cutting through-ball that was able to barely get past a sliding Getafe defender to find Alexis Sanchez. Sanchez was then able to slide it past Getafe goalkeeper Jordi Codina for the opening goal.
It was simply a brilliant play from Don Andres. It was great to see Sanchez finally get his first goal of the Liga season.
Messi made it 2-0 in the 13th minute as Andres Iniesta found Thiago making the run into the box, who then gave the ball up to Messi, and the Argentine slid it into the back of the net.
A terrific pass from Sanchez found Messi, whose shot hit the post in the 31st minute.
A few minutes later, Messi left three defenders in his wake and found Villa in the area. Villa crossed the ball back to Messi, but his header went just high over the net.
In the second half, a mad scramble ensued in the 57th minute as a great Jordi Alba run and cross found Messi, whose shot was blocked, then Sanchez's attempt was blocked by Getafe.
Two minutes later, a great Alba through ball found David Villa, who put it past Codina for the 3-0 scoreline. It was great to see el guaje get a goal as a starter.
Cristian Tello came into the game for Alexis Sanchez, and in the 79th minute, the kid got his goal as he put a bullet from the top of the box into the back of the net.
Getafe finally got their first shot on goal in the 83rd minute as a Jordi Alba mistake allowed Alvaro Vazquez get the ball and slide it past Victor Valdes.
Messi's header just missed the net in the 89th minute.
In the 90th minute, Iniesta got his goal as he rebounded Messi's shot for the fifth Barcelona goal. Just two minutes later, Dani Alves found Thiago, who stayed onside, chested down the ball, and gave it to Gerard Pique for the sixth and final goal on the night for FC Barcelona.
Getafe is just not the same without the Burger King logo on their kits.
Final: FC Barcelona 6, Getafe 1
Let's look at three takeaways "From The Mind of Xoel" as Barcelona demolish Getafe 6-1 on Sunday.
Like we do every week, let's look at some of the things Lionel Messi accomplished.
- Messi has scored 51 goals so far this season. Last season at this time, he had scored 39 goals, and ended the season with 81 (via mrchip).
- Messi scored in 13th minute, in 13th Liga match in a row, in the year 2013, against a goalkeeper with shirt No. 13 (via @infostradalive).
- Messi is the first player to hit the posts 10 times in a Liga season since Real Madrid's Mijatovic in 1996-97 (h/t @barcastuff).
- Messi averages one goal every 57 minutes in La Liga this 2012-13 season (minimum 100 minutes played), better than Cristiano Ronaldo (78), and Radamel Falcao (87) (via mrchip).
- Messi extended his own Liga record by scoring in 13 consecutive Liga matches.
- Messi is only one goal away from scoring his 300th career goal for FC Barcelona.
While it wasn't a signature Messi game, Leo was solid and bounced back from his subpar game again Valencia last week. After a week with international duty as well as the Getafe game, I hope Messi gets plenty of rest as there is no midweek game for Barcelona.
Andres Iniesta was at the top of his game on Sunday as his passes and dribbling set up Barça's attack.
It's a shame that Don Andres does not get as many accolades as he deserves to get. Then again, Andres doesn't care about accolades or individual recognition. It's all about the team for him.
Is it time to begin to compare Andres Iniesta to some of the other midfielding greats of all time?
If so, is Zinedine Zidane the legend most comparable to Iniesta?
For me, he is.
It hasn't been that long since "Zizou" left the game, but ever since the Frenchman retired, Andres Iniesta has been the midfielder who has taken over the reins as the most complete mid in world football. The dribbling skills are there, as well as the elegance and the finishing skills.
Both players also had tremendous success in league and international competition.
Iniesta has won more team trophies, but Zidane did win a Ballon d'Or—something Iniesta may not be able to win, in part due to his teammate Lionel Messi. Not that the number of individual trophies is extremely important. Iniesta and Zidane are two of the best midfielders of the past 25 years. .
For those wondering: Yes, Xavi is one of the greatest midfielders of all time. But Iniesta is a better goal scorer/finisher than Xavi. Besides, Xavi is unlike any other midfielder, and his role on the pitch has and will always be different than Iniesta's role and what Zidane's role was with Juventus/Real Madrid.
In my opinion, Xavi will have the greater impact in football history over Iniesta and Zidane once Xavi hangs up his boots.
Personally, I think Andres Iniesta is "the new Zidane," if you will. Even though Zidane was a Madrid player, I always had respect for him, and knew he was one of the greats of all time.
Andres Iniesta is the player who, in my opinion, is just as good, if not better than Zinedine Zidane.
Then again, I'm a bit biased.
While there will never be another player like Zinedine Zidane, Andres Iniesta is certainly the midfielder that reminds us of the class, skill, finishing touch, clutch play, and elegance Zizou had.
What I enjoyed the most about Barcelona's 6-1 victory over Getafe was the change up in the starting XI.
Last week, I suggested in my article that Barcelona interim manager Jordi Roura needed to shake up the lineup after Barça tied 1-1 at Valencia.
With Xavi out with an injury, Thiago came into the lineup and had a terrific game with two assists.
Alexis Sanchez was in dire need of a goal, and thanks to Andres Iniesta's magical pass, the Chilean got his first Liga goal of the season. Credit goes to Sanchez for the nice finish on the goal.
David Villa made the starting XI and got a goal for his newborn son Luca in the 58th minute.
I was pleasantly surprised to see Alex Song in the lineup. It was time for him to get into a game, and the Cameroonian had a solid game in place of Sergio Busquets.
Adriano started and played the first half, but was replaced by Dani Alves in the second half.
Cristian Tello got a goal as he came in as a substitute.
FC Barcelona leads La Liga in most goals by substitute players with nine.
Simply put: The rotation was phenomenal to see and is going to be needed more often. Don't be surprised if we see a similar thing next Saturday against Granada, as Barcelona will look to rest a few players before their clash with AC Milan the following week.
Players like Villa, Tello and Sanchez need to be kept fresh, and with the taste of goal in their mouths.
Six goals scored against Getafe from six different players.
One FC Barcelona moving closer toward a Liga title.
Xoel, The Voice of FC Barcelona