Barcelona – Getafe Liveblog

I have this annoying song stuck in my head. Remember Dory from Finding Nemo and how she kept signing “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming”? Well yeah, it’s to that tune, but instead of swimming it’s “Just keep winning…”

Also, WTF Lineup?

Starting XI: Valdes, Puyol, Mascherano, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Sanchez, Cuenca

Bench: Pinto, Muniesa, Bartra, Montoya, Keita, Thiago, Tello


Match is at 3:00 PM EST (sorry for the 99% of you that aren’t at EST time, but the world revolves around me).


  1. El once del Barça: Valdés, Puyol, Xavi, Iniesta, Alexis, Messi, Mascherano, Busquets, Pedro, Adriano y Cuenca

    4 forwards. Pep never ceases to amaze.

    1. I see either Cuenca or Alexis playing as a right winger/defensive position – most likely Alexis, he has good defending capabilities. Let us see what Pep has in store for us.

    2. The formation that was put on Barca TV was this:

      Puyol Masch Adriano
      Xavi Iniesta
      Pedro Cuenca

      Quite a different one, but I’m sure that more than 1 player will switch position!

      But it means that Busquets will drop back into the backline if needed. Be interesting to watch if Messi keeps his position to supply the 3 forwards.

  2. Pray For Abidal…the match for me today seems irrelevant when I think about him..

  3. I’m not even sure it’ll be that. Sounds like Pep is going for it early with a thought to taking off key players. I’m wondering if tonight is the night we see Messi getting subbed? Give him some rest before RM and less chance of injury?

    Okay, let my imagination run riot there for a minute but in another dimension it might have happened.

  4. I get the feeling that we’ll lineup
    Masch Busquets Puyol
    Cuenca Xavi Iniesta Adriano
    Alexis Messi Pedro

  5. This is Barca. There is no problem so large that an extra midfielder or 2 can’t solve. Well in this case an extra midfielder and an extra forward.

    I wanna see Pedro at LB. Come on, Pep, do it. I double dare you.

  6. OK, so ESPN2 now doesn’t have the game listed at either live, nor upcoming. It’s supposed to be there. Somewhere.

  7. Team peaking at just the right moment, I feel this La Liga no matter what the outcome will be decided on the last day,
    Ohh and well played Calvin with the last comment =)

  8. The law of averages says that at some point, somehow, some way, Atleti have to do something against Madrid. It’s been 13 years FFS. Even if a win is too much to ask for, how about they hold them at home and do us a favor FOR ONCE?

    1. Well for 2 seasons now we have taken full points from them both home and away, lets see if their huge yearly performance against us transmits to EE instead.

    2. Right, maybe Falcao and Adrian can cause some problems to the EE back line. Those 2 are more clinical than Valencia’s forwards (besides Goldado, but he barely played), so hopefully they get as many chances as the Bats did and finish them!

    3. Well, it’s at the Calderon so a draw could actually happen. They’ve draw a couple of times there, remember one with Kun and Forlan where they should have won (1-1) but predictably missed a lot of chances.

      That said, it’ll be an ugly affair probably. The Madrid derby was hot-tempered pre-Mourinho and with RM so wound up now and with Simeone in charge… Expect some fireworks.

      The hope we have is that no one told Simeone and Falcao Atleti are supposed to give them three points…

  9. I didnt watch the game..but can some one tell me what exactly was the team formation, and which player was playing where?

    1. From what I saw:

      Puyol Masch Adriano
      Xavi Iniesta
      Cuenca Messi-Alexis Pedro

      with Messi in a free role and Alexis in a ‘9’ role.

    1. Good post Kari. Who knew he actually had one in Messi all along. How many people read that at the time and thought Pep was crazy.

    2. Nice article Kari. Makes me sad in a way. Dino could’ve been one of the greatest of all time too. Imagine if he hadn’t betrayed his talent. Messi would be trying to catch his goal record instead. If Ronnie had half the heart and desire Messi has he’d still be in Europe somewhere. He was so briliant. Still can be on set pieces. Pep saw writing on the wall. Unwillingness to track back, me 1st attitude, late nights, & bad influence on Messi. Pep deserves a lot of credit. A lot of coaches would’ve held on to him. Hoping he reignited his career. Hoping that spark and fire would come back. Sad indeed.

    1. Now, that’s rare. πŸ™‚ Maybe we’ve seen the last of his ‘Someone stepped on my puppy.’ look a while back. It was getting depressing.

  10. I know it may sound nuts, but could we convert 3M into a left back… He is a young, offense minded speed demon. With abi’s future in doubt, he could become a (left sided Dani)… I would much rather that than spending 40M on Bale this offseason.

    1. It’s not nuts, think that should be experimented with sometime. And FWIW, I would have loved to see Alexis at left back today.

    2. I think Alexis is far too important up front to waste at left back. Pedro or Cuenca maybe but not Alexis.

    3. True, but it’d be nice to experiment against some minnows someday, just to see how he’d fair. I think he’d kick some major butt. We should try Ibi and Pedro there first of course. Think Cuenca is a little too light weight for wingback…

  11. Good game, great result. Puts loads of pressure on EE now. I can probably see them winning tomorrow, but it should be a close, tough game so who knows!

    Sanchez is really starting to impress me. He demonstrates a level of aggression and work rate that is literally second only to Messi when he is not taking it easy. That second goal was all determination, wonderful goal. I have also noticed that his first touch is getting better and he is really starting to build a great understanding with Messi. Those two are going to wreak all sorts of havoc next season once he is fully integrated.

    Busquetz really is something else. What a truly remarkable player he is and still so young. His ability to read the game is unbelievable, maybe only second to Xavi. Everyone talks about Cesc being the successor to Xavi but I think it will be Sergio. He needs to learn to be a little more creative, but that will come with time I feel. He certainly has the capability.

    1. It should be a sight to see. Hopefully the Messi-Alexis partnership will be boosted by a returned Villa eager to get back in the goals after a 1/2 year without any soccer. And of course Pedro, Ibi, and the youngsters all raring to make an impact. If only we didn’t have to suffer through silly season to get to the next season!

    2. A lot of people have been saying this about Busquets lately, but I disagree. I think his skill set so well matches where he plays it would be a shame to move him further up the pitch and ask him to learn more of a playmaking role.

    3. I agree. We have the best defensive mid in the world, so anyone else is going to be a step down.

  12. Great game guys! Sanchez messiesque goal, and always good to hear about Pedro. Xavi’s goal was ok, but this happens (more than us than some) but that’s ok I suppose. Messi the historical Pichichi of spanish LaLiga! It’s a priviledge to see this guy, and this team. Beautiful applause from the CampNou to Abi in the 22th minute. About him this:
    Official: The operation of Abidal has ended, tomorrow there will be a medical report #fcblive #animsbidal

    I really hope he’s healthy and ok.

  13. How about two goals scored in the air? And I didn’t know Alexis Sanchez had those kind of hops!

  14. “We lost the league….i cant explain it….but we did! Barcelona didnt give up as expected and that destablized us……pep was better at mind games…..i want my mummy nooow!”

    C’mon guys give the Nigerian a break, this is my one opportunity to say it before it happens

  15. Really nice to see our strikers in the scoreline together. Especially Pedro, two goals in two matches, great news.

    Next is Levante away. Tough, tough match.

    1. Caine’s a genius! What a kid. Thanks for posting. That made my morning. Nirvan is a great guy for helping Caine out. You could see how much it meant to him. We’ll read about Caine one day becoming the next Bill Gates.

    1. Thanks for the link – interesting stuff about how Pep seems more relaxed both during games and in his private life. Hopefully that means his back pains are a thing of the past too!

    2. Yeah, with so many injuries and other obstacles, I think he has learned to put things in perspective. There’s a video of him in pain after he came back from his injury. It’s too funny πŸ™‚

      It’s reported in today that the team will travel to London on Monday and stay until Thursday because they want to avoid the circus leading up to the clasico and concentrate on crucial fixtures. I think it’s a good move and also speaks volume to Pep’s attention to details.

  16. Don’t know how many of you noticed. But at the 83rd minute this was the squad fielded by Barcelona FC –

    Victor Valdes,
    Martin Montoya,
    Carles Puyol,
    Marc Muniesa,
    Sergio Busquets,
    Andres Iniesta,
    Isaac Cuenca,
    Cristian Tello,
    Lionel Messi
    Alexis Sanchez

    10 of the 11 fielded (except for Alexis) were groomed by La Masia.

    1. I noticed that too after Muniesa came on.

      I wished Pep would’ve rested Messi though.
      We got a tough 4 weeks coming up non-stop.
      We need Messi at his best. I don’t understand why Pep why doesn’t think too far ahead.
      Messi is not a machine.

    2. Say that to Lionel Messi. I think ..with Messi, Pep is clear. All Messi wants is to play.. play every minute.. Messi seems to be this unique competitor who is motivated not (only) by all the praise and love and attention and the awards etc but his performance on the field. It is like a child who enjoys his toys not because the elders love watching him play with it, but because he just loves those toys.

      And Pep realises that. He thinks Messi is at his best when he wants to do what he wants to do. The thing is that it is not hurting the team. Messi’s extended minutes and his careful training methods have only enhanced his performance and has not by any way restricted or constrained it.

      The question one could ask is ..can this be the case for the other players as well… but the point is that other players in the team also realise the uniqueness of Messi and love him for that. So they have no qualms about Messi playing every minute and loving it.

    3. When has Messi been happy of being substituted? Pep wants the genious to be happy, and to me it seems to be working. Messi wants to play, let him play. He knows when to run, and when to rest on field to keep away self-created injuries. He receives a personalized warm-up before and after the game to prevent injuries. He receives a special diet and gym training every week to prevent injuries. I don’t know much, but it seems the technical staff knows him. We can’t prevent accidents. But he deserves to keep playing if he wants to, and there is not a “sobrecarga”.

    4. Maybe Messi like Jordan has the “For the love of the game” clause in his contract. Basically, if he can play…he will play.

    5. I sort of thought about maybe the other team members maybe get a little frustrated that Messi always has the ball and everything must go through him when we attack. Strictly as an example Sanchez might opt to go on his own and try to dribble and score.

      But that just isn’t the case, his team mates know how good Messi is, they know that Messi can win games, and the more you give him the ball the better your chances. To me this makes a lot more sense as to why Messi plays so much and why his team mates so often look for him to pass to rather than making their own chances.

      As for when Messi will be missed, Barca style will stay the same, but their chance creation will be more spread over between the players.

    1. or it was…they changed it quickly πŸ™
      It was el thong boy for a few glorious moments πŸ˜€

  17. Thiago celebrates his 21st birthday today
    Boys grown a lot in this season since he got promoted. There are less and less fancy passes that lose posession and more relentless work rate to the man on the ball down.

    Guys gonna be a star he’s 21 and he’s already playing for spain national team

  18. cant understand the cuenca bashing. i thought he was wonderful. Was a useful outlet on the right when we ran out of ideas in middle.
    He did a few things right that maybe our other wingers dont do –

    a) throws in a few crosses so as to put a marker down to FB that he wont be inconsequential and hence draws the FB outside most of the time
    b) takes his marker and isnt afraid to lose the ball, a thing i dont too often with pedro or even alexis when he plays on wings
    c) Knows when to pass back to centre, when to cross – a sign of footballing intelligence
    d) isnt bothered abt not scoring for sake of team discipline.

    A real selfless gem. now he needs to get a girlfriend and disprove pep.

    1. Since he was saying this at Santos centenary celebration I’m going to give him a little slack. I think he was playing to the Brazilian nationalist media. Pitting Brazil vs Argentina. At least, I hope that was it. Someone had quoted Maradona saying, “I think Pele mixed his pills again”. Not sure if that’s a real quote, but classic if it is! He is obviously threatened by Messi’s genius. He sees Messi being able to knock him off the mantle he’s owned alongside Maradona for over a quarter century. That’s a long time to be the “greatest ever” and then have to give it up. Still sad that he’s resorting to infantile behavior.

    2. The ‘but not as good as Kaka’ bit was Brooks joking. But yeah, saying Messi is not as good as Neymar is just lying through his teeth pretty much for whatever reason he has to be that bullish.

  19. The club has also announced that it will not be doing international tours in the off-season, instead playing a few friendlies in Europe. This is fantastic news for our very tired players.

    Especially with the Euros and Olympics, staying on the continent will be welcomed. Not to mention they will be fresher and raring to kick ass and take names next year.

    Pep, who complains about money-grubbing pre-season tours, is going to love this. Renew!

  20. Good news.. great news.. but how i wished they would come to the US.. moved here to be closer to them but this is for the better.. will make my trip to Camp Nou next year…a certainty…

    1. I need a job there.. will someone give me one.. was in NZ..before deciding to move here..East coast..:D

  21. Would love a tactical review of the Getafe game in BFB. This seems more and a new innovation by Guardiola.. to play Alexis Sanchez at the Messi position and Messi at the classical 10. Add a winger in Cuenca and an inside forward in Pedro, and this was a completely new formation that seems to be an outcome of planning for the upcoming Clasico. And the results were outstanding.

    1. Here’s yesterday’s tactical preview: Take a paper and pencil. Draw the pitch. Proceed to scribble in an entirely random fashion all over the pitch, preferably in the last third. Gotta be how Pep does it.

      Would love to see Puyol’s heat map from yesterday. He was practically a midfielder.

  22. – A fundamental 3 points to throw even more pressure on EE in Capital derby. Alexis and Pedro productively found the net was another good aspect to verify our ascending trend approaching season ending. I didn’t watch the match but just catch the highlight, what formation Pep used actually? Someone mentioned above, it appears 3-4-3 with Messi was dragged to midfield as the main alteration. Pep was so ultra offensive with this new tactical innovation. Interesting to wait how this latest experiment would evolve in the future.

    – I think EE vs. ATM would be an equally uptight match like the Valencia game. ATM team atmosphere should be positive after ensuring semifinals slot in Europa League. Not only EE that have urgency to win tonight. Currently ATM is also struggling for their CL or EL qualification spot. They need the crucial 3 points as well to guarantee their participation in the continental competition next season. I expect ATM could control the match tempo, don’t get provoked to play a fast game and rush things. EE would begin under some pressure and would hope to score as early as possible to ease the nervousness. So ATM must avoid conceding early and remain composed throughout. If in the half time the score still 0-0, the potential frustration in the 2nd half could make the proceedings more complicated for EE. The bottom line, a possible unfavorable result could ensue. Go Los Cholconeros!

    Visca BARCA!

  23. Great news for the squad. Another indication of Pep’s renewal and also a better preparation for next season.

    However, I understand the disappoinment from Asia fans (including myself). It’s sad. But well, hopefully someday we’ll get our chance to meet them in better time.

    1. Hey, I heard there were two earthquakes off the coast of Indonesia. I hope everything is alright.

  24. Very interesting news out of the club today. No summer tour this season.

    Now the reason being given is the Euros/Olympics. I find that to be rather implausible.

    There have been leaks for months about ongoing negotiations for a summer tour – there have been official stories about this on the team’s website.

    Now all of a sudden the whole thing is reversed – and because of two events that have been well defined and planned for years?

    To me this seems much more like Pep basically said no. The last reports on this I can remember were that club leadership had finalized plans for a trip to Indonesia-pending final approval from Pep and the technical staff.

    I’d guess he said no and that it took some negotiations with Rosell to finally get that to stick.

    Reading the tea leaves here-this seems like more suggestive evidence that Pep will renew. This reads much more as a decision he would make than one the club leadership would as they were the ones engaged with negotiations for the summer tour to begin with.

    The Euro/Olympics issue is a means for the club leadership to save face and not look like they got over ruled by Pep, IMO.

    I wonder if this was one of the issues that was holding up his renewal? He was very upset about the summer tour last year as it disrupted training and caused fatigue.

    The summer tour issues is interesting because it is both a business issue and a sporting issues. It’s these kinds of boundary issues where it is very important for the sporting issues to take priority. This may have been an issue more important to Pep than its face value because it represents the boundary issue for the scope of his authority at the club.

    1. The pre-season has most definitely been one of the issues re his renewal.

      Pep wanted to control what happens with his squad in that time, and long distance travel to be pawns in the FCB marketing machine does not him into a happy man. After Christmas, he even placed restrictions on what the players did locally, in the way of personal appearances and media communication. He felt that they were becoming too distracted from their main roles.

      Pep is waiting until all the pieces are in place before he gives his final nod to renewal. He’s not about to be screwed by the board in any way.

      There was also “talk” that he was wanting a renewal for Tito at Eur4 million and he, personally, wanted 1 Euro more than Mourinho’s salary at Madrid. Whether that’s true or not, I don’t know, but I like to think that Pep would think that way!

    1. Heat map is surely off!

      Wow, take a look at Barca’s average positions. ONLY Mascherano (and Valdes of course) had an average position in our own half. Everyone else was in Getafe’s. Wow. That’s crazy.

      And as suspected, Puyol’s average position was just over the half. Could this be the rise of 1-5-4?! Crazy positions are crazy.

  25. Remarkable day of midweek football. So many matches with top of the table implications. Marseille and Montpellier about to kick off. Juve play Lazio. And of course Atleti vs. RM.

    But the match that may be most decisive – Dortmund vs. Bayern. The bundesliga title could functionally be decided today. Going to be a cracker of a match between those two. And they are playing at Dortmund so the crowd is going to be their usual frenetic selves.

    1. Gotze not playing for Dortmund, unfortunately.

      Dortmund and Schalke (for Raul!) are our Bundesliga teams. I love Klopp and was really disappointed that he wasn’t invited to the coaches’ seminar at the end of last season – given that Dortmund won the league last year, and that other German coaches were there.

    1. Yeah – that’s great news too.

      Barca is a team that just keeps on giving right now. πŸ˜€

  26. So, here’s the thing(s):

    Eff Pele. It doesn’t matter what retired players think. It’s only European sports where coots sit around, slag people who are better than they are, and people pay attention. Pele was a great player, in that time. In the here and now, players are stronger, faster and are taking advantage of improved training and strength/speed/explosiveness training. Physically, the players are better, and significantly so.

    This makes Pele ill-informed, and biased because he is Brazilian, and Messi is Argentine. So eff him. To hell and back. It was like when Niki Lauda (retired Formula One driver) spent most of season carping about how back in his day, when cars were cars and mem were men, blah, blah, blah, “a monkey could drive one of these modern F1 cars.” So they gave him a lap in a modern F1 ride, that craptastic Jaguar. Lauda spun numerous times, missed apexes and had a general disaster of a lap.

    After that, he shut the hell up.

    It’s ridiculous. And now Pele is on Twitter, no doubt to continue the “Messi isn’t that hot” blather. It’s nonsense, and we should care about his palaver about as much as we care about people who hate our club, and hurl allegations of some vast conspiracy. To hell with them all, I say.

    –Look for a Guardiola renewal announcement. Etch it in stone. He now has control of his club. It’s clear from the fact that we aren’t going to be scuttling around the globe, chasing cash. This club will have a lot to do this off season: integrating a new left back, solidifying the Sanchez/Messi/Villa(?) continuum, getting Fabregas the strength and fitness that he needs to be a real, fully contributing part of this club. Hard to do that when the club is on a jet all the time.

    This past year’s pre-season cost the club dearly in terms of fitness and cohesion. Given that the rest of the world is fast improving to meet a standard that we have set, Guardiola has no qualms about doing what he has to do.

    Looks like they’ll be serving leftovers in the executive board dining room, no color copies, walking or taking the Metro to work instead of fancy club cars, etc, etc. Because G is the boss.

    –pr17, who isn’t shy about his dislike of Keita, made a number of interesting points in his defense of Cuenca, above. And those points are correct. I’ll just alter them to suit Keita.

    a) throws in a few runs into the box so as to put a marker down to CB that he wont be inconsequential and hence draws the CB away from the center
    b) takes his marker and rarely loses the ball
    c) Knows when to pass back to centre, when to attack the box – a sign of footballing intelligence
    d) isnt bothered abt not scoring for sake of team discipline.

    And to boot, Keita has that same selflessness that allows him to suborn glory in favor the club. Always the club. He’s a physical presence who unerringly plays with intelligence. Cuenca has a long way to go before he becomes what Keita is to Guardiola, it must also be said. But his talent is huge, and he had a very good match yesterday, as well as in his previous outing.


    1. Cuenca needs to muscle up before he becomes more valuable, as well as learn some new tricks. He’s too easily dispossessed of the ball – something that we don’t see with Keita because their roles are a little different. Keita is looking for the quick pass forward in attack or back in defence to unload the ball as quickly as possible, while Cuenca is looking to pass the ball in attack from higher up the pitch with more urgent defence from the oppostion’s backs. Keita very seldom allows himself to be caught in a tackle with the ball.

      Cuenca has impressed me again in his last couple of matches. I even thought that he was MotM against Milan at Camp Nou. He did everything that Pep asked of him – kept a threat out wide and stretched the defence. He did get a yellow card, but it was for a tactical foul to allow the other Barca players to recover their positions when Milan regained a quick possession of the ball.

      Last night though, I thought that he was very lucky not to gift Getafe a penalty with his shirt-holding tactics against a Getafe player as they tussled going into the box. The ref was right there beside him. He has to be careful not to concede fouls by playing a little dirty in order to make up for his lack of muscle.

      I’m still not sure whether he’s going to make it in the long run, but if Pep has a plan for him, then it’s all good.

      Let’s see if they can bulk him up like they did to Messi last season!

    2. Cuenca was huge last night, unfortunately he was ignored far too many times when he was in a good position to receive a pass, but instead Xavi and Iniesta always looked for messi first then others next (THOSE BASTARDS).
      Kieta is a monster of a player, sometimes doing the work of 2 men, he is physical when needed and he contributes to building attacks when needed, busi on the other hand, maybe the best DM in the world, but he is not worth much going forward.
      The thing i liked the most about the match was Pedro’s goal, it was almost impossible (he was far away, had his back to the goal and he doesn’t score much with his head), it had tons of luck in it, but that’s what makes Pedro so special, he scores goals out of nowhere and when its least expected. he is back.

    3. As a generalisation, Iniesta is guilty of not utilising the wingers – he always look to pass inside. It puzzles me a bit because he should be more aware of the wingers, given that he (unfortunately) plays there at times!

      However, I did notice that when Cuenca played on the left during the Milan game, he and Ini did combine very well. Almost like Iniesta was looking after Cuenca like a Mama Bird and feeding him the ball. πŸ˜€

    4. – Agree on the Pele nonsense. What Pele is doing by tomtoming the Brazilian Neymar over the Argentine Messi is actually heaping a hell of a load of pressure on Neymar as he is a dwarf compared to Messi in footballing achievements. Pele has basically gone senile. The clearest expression of senility from older footballers is when they rave about “back in the day”..

      – Keita is awesome. A team man to the core. But he is no adequate replacement for Busquets at DM. He plays a more situational role and should continue to play that. He lacks what Busquets possesses and something that lack – tells on the field as it did in the Zaragoza game. Barca looked infinitely better when Keita was taken off for Busquets. It is no knock on Keita though.

      – Pep is surely renewing. I suspect the 1 year renewal thingie is as much objective as much as it is subjective. The objective is to wrest more power away from the marketing/ money minded Rosell and into the Cruyffian enterprise. The subjective is of course, the toll that Pep has to go through, coaching the Barca squad. I still believe that Pep will stay a long long time in Barca.. and will try to emulate Alex Ferguson to an extent. He has been bought up by Barca since childhood and I believe that he will live out his ambitions with the club. The preseason junket cancellation is therefore a good omen.

      – Pedroadrunner is officially back. Still has a couple of rusty barrels at the shooting end, but they seem to trigger up better than before in the season.

      – Worried about Puyol’s workload. Pique has to recover and maybe Muniesa will now be relied upon more as well.

  27. Hi Euler, as you’re around right now. Want to know your take about Pep “new” formation last night. Just a short one pls. Thanks bro!

  28. The most exciting thing for me about yesterday’s match was the play of Sanchez. We saw signs of it over the weekend, but the potential was even clearer yesterday. Not since Ibrahimovic has Messi had a foil of such quality to play off.

    The chest pass was absurd. And note the run that Messi made, in case Getafe shut Sanchez down, with the full confidence that Sanchez had the ability to get him the ball. In the first half of the Ibrahimovic season, we saw many of those same qualities as the two were learning to work together, pre-asshat.

  29. If you care to take this interesting discussion over to a new post, I have put up a few blitzen awards! πŸ˜€

Comments are closed.