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Deportivo La Coruña
13 December 2014
• Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Getafe (Madrid)
Referee: Iñaki Bikandi Garrido
• Attendance: 9500
A well-earned point for Contra, but Luis Enrique will be less than happy. That is all we have time for, though. Thanks for joining me, Tom Webber, and have a great evening.
FULL TIME - Getafe 0-0 Barcelona: The Blaugrana fail to find the net against the resilient Azulones, falling a further two points behind Real Madrid in the title race. Lafita was denied by Bravo in superb fashion in the first half, but despite a Catalan onslaught after the break they could not find a winning goal. Messi was denied by both the post and Guaita with a pair of free kicks that ended up being their best opportunities of the afternoon.
90' + 5'
There is the final whistle! But it goes amid controversy as Vazquez caught Iniesta in possession and was through on goal! Castro's protests earn him a booking.
90' + 4'
Yellow Card Diego Castro
90' + 4'
Getafe break and win a throw inside the Barca half. They will take their time getting the ball back into play!
90' + 3'
A foul by Castro results in a free kick to Barcelona wide on the right. Xavi whips it into the centre but Naldo is there to head it away. Another cross soon comes in, this time from the left, and Guaita just about manages to punch it clear.
90' + 2'
Pique is up as a striker now, but his control from Alba's cross is poor and it loops up off his foot. He does manage to make his second touch a winning header, but he cannot get enough power behind it to worry Guaita.
90' + 1'
We are into the first of four additional minutes! Barca are not far away from falling behind in the title race!
Claims for a penalty from the hosts as Pedro Leon goes to ground as he looks to fire a shot away from Castro's half-cleared cross. They are only half-hearted appeals, though, and play quickly continues.
Munir goes off on a run down the left but, under pressure from a pair of blue shirts, he carries the ball straight out of play for a goal kick! His team-mates don't look best pleased.
Pedro Leon catches his opponent near the halfway line and Barca are awarded a free kick. Another chance for them to press the hosts back inside their own half.
A bit of miscommunication in the box sees Pique slide in to clear Diego Castro's poor cross out for a corner when Mathieu was setting himself to clear it away right behind him! The set piece is whipped into the box but Bravo comes off his line to claim it.
Alba's cross from the left is missed by Suarez in the centre, but MEssi is on hand to receive it. His shot, however, is blocked by Sarabia. Getafe are clinging to this goalless draw.
Naldo makes another brilliant interception to deny Suarez space to shoot on the right side of the box. The resultant corner falls for Iniesta at the top of the box but his strike at goal is blocked, twice!
A slight delay in Barca's final change, as Alves comes off to be replaced by Adriano. Pique had previously signalled he needed to come off, but that request has been ignored.
Barca are still dominating possession as we move towards the final 10 minutes. They are struggling to find a route through the middle of the Getafe defence, while they lack height to make the most of any potentital crosses.
Munir El Haddadi
Luis Enrique makes his second switch with Munir coming on to replace Pedro.
Abdoul Karim Yoda
Contra makes his third and final change, withdrawing Yoda in order to make way for Pedro Leon.
Pedro pulls wide and gets another cross into the box, which takes a deflection off Valera. Suarez holds off his marker and tries to volley it on the spin, but he fails to connect with the ball.
Getafe's defending is becoming a little more last-ditch, now. Not every clearance they make is effective as each defender just wants to get possession away from the nearest player. They need to keep their heads in these late stages or they could end up throwing the point away.
Messi finds Iniesta in a pocket of space at the top of the area so he slides a pass into his feet. The midfielder moves possession out to the left for Pedro, whose cross is cleared by Vazquez with Suarez lurking at the back post.
Another change for Getafe with Diego Castro replacing Lafita, who has run himself into the ground.
MESSI! The Argentine again goes close but his header from Alba's cross flies over the target! The left-back created that opportunity following a brilliant one-two with Pedro.
Getafe are not breaking with the same urgency or number of bodies, now. They don't want to be caught short at the back and you can't blame them. A point against the second-placed side in La Liga would be a good result.
Rakitic's afternoon comes to a premature end as he is replaced by Iniesta in Luis Enrique's first substitution.
Yellow Card Pablo Sarabia
Sarabia goes into the book for a poor challenge on Messi as the visitors looked to break at speed. He took one for the team, there.
SO CLOSE! Alba bursts forward on the left and his cutback finds Xavi on the edge of the box. The midfielder takes it on the volley, driving his shot down into the ground and it loops wide of the far post.
The first change of the game sees Sammir make way for Alvaro Vazquez. The Croatian has had a poor second half despite impressing in the first half.
This remains Barcelona's game for the time being. The Catalan side have monopolised possession since the break and are looking increasingly likely to score. Pique dribbles up from the back but sees his shot blocked by Valera. Pedro then follows up with a volley that is skewed far wide of the target.
Naldo makes a brilliant challenge to stop Messi in his tracks inside the box, and then, after almost losing possession, he wins a foul from Alves to relieve the pressure on his side.
GOOD SAVE! Messi rifles the free kick low towards the near post but Guaita gets down and parries it away from goal. That was a brilliant save from the keeper.
Well, it wasn't sloppy, it was just needless! Velazquez catches Suarez's heels as the Uruguayan carries the ball away from goal, and Barca have another free kick just off the corner of the box.
The rain is really coming down in Madrid, now. The playing surface is going to become very slick and we may see a few sloppy challenges work their way in.
Yoda finally shows his ability, rolling his foot over the ball before darting to the line and beating Alba for pace! His cutback, however, fails to find a blue shirt and Barca manage to work it up the other end.
OFF THE BAR! Messi bends the free kick over the top of the wall but it crashes back off the frame of the goal. Guaita was rooted to the spot, so there was no way he would have been stopping that. Fantastic technique from the striker.
The Blaugrana are awarded a free kick in a dangerous area after Messi is first tugged back by Michel and then clattered by Velazquez! It's a little over 20 yards out in a central position, and the Argentine will fancy this!
Messi dribbles into the area superbly but he is just unable to find enough space from which to shoot! Barca are looking far more dangerous since the restart.
Lafita again breaks down the left, and after drifting inside he opts to shoot from distance rather than take on the two Barca defenders. His effort bounces just ahead of Bravo but the keeper makes no mistakes and holds it at the first time of asking.
Interestingly, once more it is Xavi making the run in behind the defence, but he is unable to get a meaningful touch onto a lovely pass over the top and Guaita collects.
We are back underway!
The teams are back out on the pitch, so the second half will begin momentarily.
HALF TIME - Getafe 0-0 Barcelona: It has not been the most exciting game in Madrid, but the hosts are making it difficult for Luis Enrique's men which has made for an intriguing encounter. The best chance of the game came the way of Lafita, but he was denied by a great stop from Bravo. It remains all square at the interval, so be sure to join me for the second half in 15 minutes.
There is barely a second of added time before the referee whistles for the end of the half.
Messi comes deep to pick up the ball, and once in possession he attempts to initiate a one-two with Suarez. Upon receiving the return pass, though, he is unable to bundle his way into the box in order to test the keeper.
Rakitic tries his luck with an effort from 25 yards but it skids a few feet wide of the goal! Guaita dived anyway, but that was never sneaking inside the post.
Suarez turns Alexis brilliantly and then cuts back inside him to create space for a cross. He picks out Xavi at the near post but the midfielder's attempt to flick the ball in with his trailing leg loops up for Guaita to make the save.
Barca nearly show Getafe how to be clinical on the counterattack! The hosts are caught short at the back and Suarez bends a cross into the middle which is only narrowly missed by Pedro. That was a great opportunity!
We are closing in on half time, and the hosts have given this game a good shot so far. They've looked dangerous on the break, but they could do with getting Yoda more involved down the right.
Sammir is leading the line for Getafe today, and he seems to be adopting the false nine role that Messi made famous at Barcelona. He is dropping deep to get on the ball, holding it well and using his quality distribution to spread the play and ignite counterattacks.
WHAT A SAVE! Alexis releases Lafita down the left with a brilliant ball over the top and the winger cuts inside of Alves with ease with his first touch. He carries it into the box before lashing a shot at goal which is just kept out of the corner by the fingertips of Bravo!
Suarez and Alba try to combine down the left but the left-back leaves the ball behind him with his first touch and Getafe manage to hack it clear. Yoda tries to use his pace to break away down the right but there is no support to get on the end of his cross.
Velazquez makes an important block! The centre-back was in the right place at the right time to stop Messi's shot from just inside the box testing Guaita. The Barcelona man's first touch there was superb.
Jordi Alba is adjudged offside, even though he was a good few yards behind the last Getafe defender. That was a poor decision from the official on the near side.
Alves tries to juggle the ball and loop it over the head of Lafita, but the attacking midfielder gets between the Brazilian and possession. In his desire to stop him breaking, the right-back pulls his opponent to ground and concedes a free kick near the halfway line.
OVER THE TOP! Suarez breaks away down the left and pops a nice pass back to Xavi, 25 yards from goal. He smashes his shot goalwards but fails to keep it down!
Pique is penalised for an off-the-ball push on Sarabia, with the referee awarding the free kick. The centre-back gives the official, who has made a few odd decisions already, a peace of his mind. Getafe fail to make anything from their delivery into the box.
Claims for penalties at both ends! First, Barcelona are denied a penalty for what they feel has a handball by Valera, and they may have had a point. Getafe break, though, and Lafita claims his cross takes a touch off the hand of Alves inside the box. Neither given!
SUAREZ! Guaita punches a cross out only as far as Xavi at the top of the box, and his shot appears to be heading wide. However, the Uruguayan stretches to try and deflect the shot into the back of the net but is unable to divert it on target.
MESSI! The Argentine is quickest to react as Rakitic's deflected shot drops inside the box. He pokes it away from the defender and then fires a low shot too close to Guaita and the keeper holds it confidently. It was a rather tame effort.
Once more Lacen is caught in possession in midfield, and Messi picks it up and bears down on goal. He slides a pass to his left for Pedro, but the winger is blocked off as he looks to cut back onto his right foot in order to have a shot.
Lacen loses out to Messi and Suarez pounces on the loose ball. He dribbles sideways into the centre of the pitch before blazing a shot from 25 yards far over the top of the goal!
Neither side have yet to force a save from the opposition goalkeeper just yet, as it has been a rather slow start to proceedings. Getafe are defended in two solid lines with every man back behind the ball.
Lafita feels he should have a free kick after knocking the ball past Pique and then taking a light brush off the centre-back as he tries to surge into the box. Contact was minimal, and you sense he only claimed for it because there was no way he was getting back in possession given his touch!
Pique launches a long diagonal ball from the halfway line, looking to set Messi in behind the defence. Valera does well to get his head to it before Velazquez hooks it away to safety.
Messi swings in a free kick from the left after Suarez was fouled, but the delivery is poor and Lafita heads it away at the near post.
Getafe are clearly happy to let Barca control possession and just look to catch them on the break. Once more Lafita is there outlet down the left but he is beaten to the ball by Bravo, and the keeper just about manages to stop himself running out of the box with possession in his hands!
Barca have seen plenty of the ball in the opening stages, but Mathieu's attempt to combine with Xavi down the left are thwarted. The hosts counter, but Lafita is unable to make the most of the ball when he is released down the left.
We are underway!
The teams are making their way out onto the pitch. Getafe are wearing all blue, while Barcelona don their alternate pink kit.
Getafe have not won a league game since they defeated Depotivo La Coruna 2-1 on October 31. Barca, on the other hand, are looking to make it five on the bounce in La Liga. It should be an entertaining afternoon in Madrid!
The Blaugrana currently have the best defence in the league, with just seven goals conceded from their opening 14 games. Getafe, meanwhile, have only outscored Granada in La Liga this season, so they could be in for a tough afternoon in front of goal.
Barcelona bench: Ter Stegen, Adriano, Bartra, Mascherano, Iniesta, Rafinha, Munir.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Bravo; Alves, Pique, Mathieu, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Busquets, Rakitic; Suarez, Messi, Pedro.
Getafe bench: Codina, Vigaray, Castro, Rodriguez, Leon, Vazquez, Diawara.
Getafe (4-2-3-1): Guaita; Valera, Naldo, Velazquez, Alexis; Michel, Lacen; Sarabia, Sammir, Yoda; Lafita.
BARCELONA TEAM NEWS: Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez all scored as Barca dispatched of Paris Saint-Germain to finish top of their Champions League group in midweek. The Brazilian misses out today, though, due to an ankle issue so Pedro retains his place in the side as part of the front three. Claudio Bravo returns in goal with Dani Alves and Jordi Alba back in to fill the full-back positions.
GETAFE TEAM NEWS: Cosmin Contra is without Roberto Lago and Sergio Escudero, who both miss out with injury. Alexis therefore comes in at left-back, while the supsended Freddy Hinestroza is replaced by Sarabia.
Barca have won their last eight games in all competitions, and they will need to maintain that winning run to close the gap on Real Madrid to two points. Recently this ground has proved fruitful for the Blaugrana, too, with fice wins from their last six Liga visits to face Getafe.
Hello and welcome to this LIVE commentary as Getafe welcome Barcelona to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez to kick off the Saturday's La Liga action. With Real Madrid defeating Almeria 4-1 last night the pressure is on the Catalan side to keep pace with the league leaders and pick up three points today. My name is Tom Webber, and I will be guiding you through all the action.
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