Getafe 2-5 Barcelona: 6 Things We Learned
Barcelona overcame a two-goal deficit to defeat Getafe 5-2 on Sunday night. It was a hectic game for the Catalans, but their persistence saw them keep their place at the top of the table.
With Barcelona's last match of 2013 keeping fans nervous throughout, the win in the end was worth it.
In this match, we will take a look at six things we learned from the match in Madrid and what it means for both clubs.
*All statistics are courtesy of WhoScored.com
Tata Is Stuck on Playing Fabregas Up Front
For some reason it just seems as though Tata Martino refuses to accept the truth about Cesc Fabregas. With Messi out of the squad, the Barcelona manager continues to turn to the former Arsenal star, and it just is not working.
When playing in the midfield, Fabregas can be one of Barcelona's most dominant and important players. That is not the case when he is leading the attacking line.
Fabregas not only misses the scoring touch and eye for goal that are so important for a striker, he also looks extremely lost and uncomfortable playing the role.
We must understand that Martino's options are limited with both Messi and Neymar out of the squad to face Getafe, but a change should have been made.
Either Alexis Sanchez or Pedro could have been used in the center-forward role, but they were not. Martino refuses to accept that Fabregas cannot play the role properly and is hurting the team.
There is a reason why his best moment of the game came when he assisted Pedro's goal from a deep position. Fabregas belongs in the midfield.
He may have scored two goals, but that does not make him a striker.
Getafe Took Every Chance They Had
Getafe knew that they were not going to see a lot of the ball against Barcelona and that chances were going to be very rare. Because of this, the home side made the most of every chance they had.
The two opening goals for Getafe came on their first two real chances of the game.
Sergio Escudero saw his chance to break past the defense and expertly beat Pinto. Moments later, Lisandro Lopez was found in the box and had all the space in the world to put his header on target, and that is exactly what he did.
Without Getafe's expert finishing this would have been a completely different game. The home side will definitely feel as though Barcelona stole the win from them, but they should also be proud of what they showed.
Barcelona's Defensive Issues Are Still at Large
While Barcelona's comeback was definitely the story of this match, it is clear that the defensive problems are still very much an issue for the Catalan club.
On both goals scored by Getafe, the defensive was nowhere to be found. Both Dani Alves and Gerard Pique were completely beaten on the first goal, and no one even picked up Lopez in the box on the second goal.
Tata Martino took a big chance in this match.
No only did he leave Marc Bartra on the bench, but he also played both Jordi Alba and Dani Alves together in the back line after they have not played together in months.
In short, the defensive problems are not even close to being solved. Though Bartra provides excellent coverage for the Blaugrana back line, the solution is much more difficult than merely purchasing a new defender.
From defending set pieces to reading the game, Barcelona's defense is struggling and must be fixed if they want to win La Liga.
Pedro's Incredible Form Continues
Pedro has been in incredible form this season to the surprise of many. Oddly, he has only started 10 league matches this year and now has 10 goals to show for it.
When Pedro has played this season, he has always had a big impact on the game. With Messi and Neymar missing for Barcelona, the Catalans needed a hero, and Pedro stepped up at the right time.
To the surprise of many, Pedro has been one of Barcelona's most consistent players this year and is making his case to play more minutes. Martino must now take notice of the Spanish winger and realize just what he offers with Messi out of the lineup.
Barcelona would be wise to take advantage of Pedro's brilliant run of form and reward him for his efforts. Other than Messi and Neymar, Pedro is arguably Barcelona's best pure scorer, and for that reason he must play more.
Barcelona Won When They Needed to Most
The match against Getafe was Barcelona's first must-win game of the season. With Atletico Madrid temporarily at the top of the La Liga table, the Catalans had to win to keep their place at the top of the league.
Things certainly did not start off well for Barcelona, and it looked as though they were going to be beaten and stunned by their hosts. But their persistence prevailed.
It may not have been a pretty win, and fans were certainly nervous throughout the entire contest, but Barcelona showed that they refuse to go down without a fight. They had to win this game, and they made sure that happened.
The fight at the top of the La Liga table is as close as ever and the Catalans feel it. They found a way to win when it looked the most difficult, and that is the sign of a champion.
What to Make of the Senyera Curse?
A few weeks ago, Ben Hayward of Goal.com ran an article on Barcelona's Senyera away shirts. He brought up the point that Barcelona has yet to win a game in their away shirts and some have even claimed that they have been a curse.
Well, that curse looked real at the start of the match against Getafe when Barcelona went down 0-2. But in the end, the Catalans would turn around the scoreline and cruise to an easy victory.
What should we make of the supposed Catalan curse? Now that La Blaugrana have won their first match in the Senyera kits, perhaps winning will become normal in the away shirt for the rest of the season.
One thing is certain, fans are sure glad to finally see Barcelona win in their historic shirt.
What do you make of Barcelona's victory over Getafe? Can Barcelona win La Liga? Leave your thoughts and comments below!