A Lionel Messi brace propelled Barcelona to a 5-2 home win over Getafe, keeping the Catalans on the tail of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid in the title race.
Ronald Koeman only made one change to the team that beat Athletic Club in the final of the Copa del Rey on Saturday with Sergi Roberto coming in to replace Sergino Dest at right wing back.
It took Barca just eight minutes to break the deadlock when Messi found the back of the net after being released in behind the opposition defence by a pass from deep by Sergio Busquets.
Their lead, however, only lasted four minutes as Clement Lenglet diverted a Marc Cucurella cross into his own net. An own goal by Sofian Chakla moments later was an even bigger calamity, as David Soria was exposed a long way off his line.
Messi added his second, and Barcelona’s third, of the night after 33 minutes, converting from a tight angle after picking up his rebound from a shot off the inside of the far post.
Getafe were given a lifeline in the second half when Ronald Araujo conceded a penalty not long after being introduced off the bench with Enes Unal stepping up to make it 3-2 with just over 20 minutes remaining.
Koeman demonstrated his anger on the touchline as Barcelona’s performance fell flat, but Araujo’s late header was enough to calm the nerves while Antoine Griezmann added a fifth from the spot in stoppage time.
This was enough for the Catalans to clinch the three points needed to take them above Sevilla in the La Liga table and to within two points of Real Madrid. Meanwhile, Barca trail Atletico Madrid by five points.
Source: Ghana News