Tuesday, February 7, 2023

Barcelona 1-0 Getafe: Pedri sends Blaugrana six points clear at summit

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 22 Jan 2023

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Pedri scored the only goal of the game as LaLiga leaders Barcelona maintained their unbeaten top-flight streak at home with a 1-0 win against Getafe.

The midfielder’s first-half strike sent Xavi’s side six points clear of Real Madrid, who face Athletic Bilbao later on Sunday, but it was far from a routine victory.

Getafe frustrated their opponents throughout with a resolute defensive showing, while calling Marc-Andre ter Stegen into action with several decisive saves.

Quique Sanchez Flores’ visitors could not find an equaliser, however, as Barca made it nine games without defeat in the league at Camp Nou.

Getafe thought they had taken a shock lead four minutes in, Borja Mayoral drilling an effort into the near corner past Ter Stegen but the offside flag was raised for an earlier infringement.

Having been limited to shots from distance, Barca found a breakthrough after 35 minutes as Raphinha found space before cutting across goal for Pedri to tuck home.

Pedri’s poor pass almost handed Getafe an equaliser but Ter Stegen produced a crucial save against Mayoral to keep Barca ahead at the interval.

Xavi’s hosts continued to dominate proceedings in the second half as Getafe defended with resilience, though Ousmane Dembele went close after whistling a strike just wide.

Substitute Franck Kessie wasted a fine opportunity late on after firing straight at David Soria, but that mattered for little as Barca maintained their title charge.

What does it mean? Barca in their stride

A fierce battle with Madrid for the LaLiga title lies ahead for Xavi’s side but Barca are in control of their own destiny, having put pressure on their rivals ahead of the later kick-off against Athletic.

Since a 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League in October, the Blaugrana are on a fine run of 11 games without defeat in all competitions – dropping just two LaLiga points in that period in last month’s draw with Espanyol.

Fresh from their victory in the Supercopa de Espana, Barca are picking up steam.

Prolific Pedri

Pedri found the net in back-to-back games for the first time in his Barca career after adding to last week’s strike against Madrid in the Supercopa triumph.

The 20-year-old’s last three goals have come from his last three shots on target as he continues to prove a pivotal cog for Xavi’s midfield.

Frustrating Fati

Robert Lewandowski’s suspension handed an opportunity for Ansu Fati to lead the line but he endured a frustrating performance, having had his influence on the game restricted.

Fati mustered only 45 touches in the game, the fewest of any Barca outfield starter, as the Spain international failed to deliver in the absence of talisman Lewandowski.

What’s next?

Barca host Real Sociedad in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on Wednesday, while Getafe are at home to Real Betis in LaLiga on Saturday.

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SoccerNews

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