Barcelona kicked off the New Year with a 2-1 win at Getafe but were second-best for large parts. Lionel Messi opened the scoring against the run of play, and Luis Suarez doubled Barca’s lead with a thumping volley from the edge of the box. Jaime Mata pulled one back before the break, then missed an open goal in the second half as the home side failed to take advantage of their pressure.
Messi broke the deadlock in the 20th minute by squeezing past two defenders and nutmegging goalkeeper David Soria before scoring from a tight angle. A trademark volley from Luis Suarez then doubled Barca’s lead 19 minutes later, with Getafe’s Jaime Mata making it 2-1 just before the break. Barcelona held on for victory to go five points clear at the top of La Liga, but the main topic of discussion was Messi’s magic. Moments after scoring his 399th La Liga goal, the Argentine produced a staggering through ball to Suarez to put him through on goal. Suarez made the run in behind the defence and was duly found by Messi, whose pass evaded no less than five Getafe players. Unfortunately Suarez couldn’t apply the finish.
The positives for Barca came elsewhere this as with results from other Laliga Matches were in their favour. Second-placed Atletico Madrid and third-placed Sevilla played out a 1-1 draw at the Sanchez Pizjuan, allowing the Catalans to open up a five-point lead at the top of La Liga. Elsewhere, Real Madrid lost at home to Real Sociedad. They’re now 10 points off top spot. That said, these three points shouldn’t be undervalued. Getafe are having a good season, and, as Suarez trotted out that old cliche at full-time, it’s these games where you win titles.