analysis | 2015-11-01
Match Report: Getafe 0-2 Barcelona - Neymar’s and Sergi Roberto’s massage
Neymar and Sergi Roberto lead with their brilliance a convincing win over Getafe
There are matches that for the game plan, the outcome, the development or some extraordinary circumstance mean something more than three points. Certainly, this match hasn’t been a sensational uproar from Barça, but it has had two names who, with their special brightness, stand out and they’re needed by Luis Enrique’s squad for several reasons. The football was noteworthy, but Sergi Roberto and Neymar Jr. unleashed their peculiar happiness to expose it to everyone’s eyes. It’s already known that shared happiness doesn’t add, but multiplies.
The Brazilian’s case is particularly important. Messi’s absence has given him wings, despite the fact that his performance is already remarkable when the Argentinian is playing. Barça need a Neymar disguised as Messi, making a difference in the central area, breaking the defensive lines and being the best. Against Getafe he wanted to be all these things from the playmaker position, but the path was too rocky there. The band suited him better in order to shake things up and make them happen. He created magic and the first goal came, he got rid of his marker and the second one arrived. He then showed flashes of brilliance and was happy on the pitch, that’s the way Neymar gains confidence and overwhelms the opponents in a humbling manner.
Sergi Roberto’s story is about confidence, maturity and the moderation of expectations. When all these happened, then he was able to contribute even as a full back. He was determinative in the match: two goals from Barça, two assists from him. But his case goes even further: now he’s the actual 12th player, a substitute who plays the same or more than the starting XI squad, he’s no longer a promise, but a reality. He doesn’t just seem like a good footballer now, he is one instead, although he has a progression limit and can’t be the next Iniesta.
I’ll allow myself the advantage to do the next statement after the game and not before. There was a sign that foretold Getafe would struggle awfully to score a goal and in consequence, to win the match: except for Víctor Rodríguez, their offensive players are slow. A team that is going at spending most of the game closer to their own goal needs fast or technically gifted footballers to reach the opposite area. Getafe had in Pedro León, Stefan, Sarabia or even Juan Rodríguez, solid players at a technical level, but not fast enough in order to threaten Barcelona’s defensive balance. That was Getafe’s fundamental shortcoming in the first half, the struggle to build up the plays (they managed to do it just once with a clear chance) to attack Barça’s area, to frighten their defenders, which is a pragmatic way to hold back a rival with more spaces ahead of them.
Considering this, Alves and Jordi Alba were freer with a cooperative Rakitic and Sergi Roberto, alongside an imperial Busquets. Since Getafe didn’t generate any danger, the first goal arrived, which was a perfect example of what the difference in quality means to an important club. A mistake by Getafe left Neymar in the wing, he sprinted and with a step he dribbled past Vergini, he crossed the ball to Sergi Roberto whose heel drew a magnificent pass to the open space for Luis Suárez, who feinted to the right with his Brazilian-like hip to eventually shoot to Guaita’s left post. The three of them crowned a goal consequence from Getafe’s game plan and from the exquisite technique Barcelona are able to perform.
Until the match was settled, the only one responsible for Getafe’s transitions: Pablo Sarabia. He was the scheme’s loose piece, a 4-2-3-1 formation that changed to 4-4-2 in the defensive phases, the man in charge of attacking Alves’ back, looking to draw Piqué out of his area. He did it without much efficiency, but with some individual brilliance. He paused to wait for his teammates, but he failed when speeding the plays was required. The only time he executed the plan successfully he connected with Víctor, who found Stefan unmarked in the penalty spot. This basic movement against teams who anchor the full backs to widen the field didn’t work out anymore.
When the 0-2 fell, Barcelona’s superiority facing a crestfallen Getafe gave the Blaugranas the chance to turn on the massage mode. You can’t say that Escribá’s squad didn’t want to compete, but obviously they didn’t believe in themselves. We won’t know if they could be a rival because they didn’t try to be one, yet every happy attempt to reach Barça’s area meant the exact opposite: a clear chance in Getafe's goal. Alongside Neymar and Sergi Roberto, to be able to spend 30 minutes of pleasure in a tournament such as La Liga was the other great news of the day for the culés. Next stop is the Champions League.
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Article translated from Spanish to English, originally published at the Perarnau Magazine by Fran Alameda.
TRANSLATED BY: Jaime Ibarra
Jaime is a chemical engineer from Venezuela who is passionate about football and Barça. He loves the club’s history and he has been an unconditional fan since Ronaldo “The Phenomenon” amazed the world with the Blaugrana colors.