Barca close the gap on Real Madrid


Barcelona reduced Real Madrid’s lead at the top of La Liga to just one point with a comfortable 4-0 defeat of Getafe at the Camp Nou.

Pep Guardiola’s men got off to the perfect start after just 13 minutes when Alexis Sanchez took advantage of Lionel Messi’s chested pass to cut inside and unleash an unstoppable shot past Miguel Angel Moya. The visitors almost conceded again minutes later, Xavi seeing his lofted effort hooked clear by Cata Diaz with the referee ruling the ball had not crossed the line.

Even so, it was to be a brief respite as the constant Barcelona pressure finally told one minute before half time when Messi played a sublime one-two with Andres Iniesta to blast into Moya’s top right-hand corner from inside the box.

Getafe, one of only two teams to have overcome Barca this term, almost got on the scoresheet 10 minutes after the break when Juan Rodriguez’s shot clipped the crossbar, but Pep Guardiola’s men put the result beyond any doubt with two headers inside two minutes midway through the second period. First Sanchez climbed high to nod home Isaac Cuenca’s right-wing cross and then Pedro helped on a Messi free-kick to give the hosts an unassailable 4-0 lead.

Asked about Wednesdays Atletico Madrid-Real Madrid derby clash, Barca boss Pep Guardiola preferred not to look too far ahead.

“The work we needed to do tonight we did, but we are only thinking of our own fixtures and the next one against Levante will be difficult.” he commented.

Getafe President Angel Torres believes next Monday’s home game against Sevilla is more important than the Barcelona game as victory will guarantee top-flight safety.

“We turned up here tonight but we were not present,” he said. “This is not our league. We made six changes and came to see if we could surprise them, but it was very difficult and we must now rest and concentrate on Monday. It is a big game for us and we will find out if we can continue in La Primera for another year.”

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