Xavi headed into the matchday against Getafe at Camp Nou against Getafe with a 433 setup. The exclusion of Araujo was a precautionary measure to protect him from injury after the reports came out explaining that the Uruguayan centre-back had some discomfort. Alejandro Balde earned a start after his exemplary performance in the Supercopa.
The midfield was the usual trio of Pedri, Gavi and Busquets, along with the Frontline featuring Ansu Fati as the main scorer following the suspension of Lewandowski, with the wingers being Ousmane Dembele and Raphinha on the right wing, after having major impact on the team in his last 10 matches, turning the games against Intercity and breaking the deadlock against Cueta, along with a man of the match performance in the same.
Barcelona’s first shot on target came with Gavi winning the ball in midfield, and Dembele attempting a shot on the lower left corner of the Goalpost, which was saved by the keeper. Busquets won a lot of crucial balls in the first 10 minutes, and Pedri was the major creative outlet in the same period. Getafe looked threatening on counters, finding us in numerically disadvantageous situations defensively, but we bailed us out quite calmly.
Dembele fluently dribbled past multiple players but could have made better decisions in the final third. Andreas Christensen bailed us out from a possible one-on-one situation for Enes Unal, heading the ball back to Ter Stegen. The French winger made a beautiful pass to Gavi in the 23’ minute, who made a beautiful lay-off to Ansu Fati, but the youngster was let down by his first touch.
The spectators had to wait till the 34’ minute to see the opening blow, with Andreas Christensen winning the ball in midfield by pressing brilliantly during Getafe’s offensive transition. A lot of space was left behind, and Raphinha latched on the ball passed towards him and laid an early cross from the left wing, which was effortlessly put in the back of the net by Pedri, who made a brilliant run into the box.
The biggest chance to Getafe came from a Pedri error, who put less weight into a backpass to Ter Stegen and ended up laying it on the feet of Borja Mayoral, But the German in goal had different plans, pulling off a brilliant save, proving he is one of the best goalkeepers in the world as of now. Ansu and Balde also linked up brilliantly but could only give a knock at David Soria’s goalposts. Barcelona headed into the second half with a one-goal lead.
The second half began with a double substitution for the Blue and Garnet, with Jordi Alba coming on for Balde and Eric Garcia coming in for Andreas Christensen, in an effort to manage game time and prevent fatigue from excessive playtime. Andreas Christensen reportedly has an issue in his left hamstring, hopefully, it is nothing major.
The first big chance came in the form of a Jordi Alba cross, which was delivered exceptionally well to Ansu Fati, who was soon dispossessed after being closely marked by the Getafe defenders. The third substitution was made in the 61’ minute after Franck Kessie was subbed in for Raphinha Belloli. Barcelona struggled to create clear-cut chances in the second half, mostly due to the defensive organization of Getafe.
The opponents set up in a 5-4-1 shape defensively, which sometimes became a flat 5-5 at times, at times becoming impenetrable for the historical club. Pedri was being marked by two players, which never allowed him to be a free man to receive the pass. Kounde managed to ping a wonderful bal to Pablo Gavira, but his first touch meant that the defender cleared it as soon as the ball went away from the Spaniard, who was being closely tracked.
Xavi Hernandez substituted the veteran Sergio Roberto for Marcos Alonso and shifted the setup to a 3 at the back shape to provide more security aerially in the central areas of the ground. Sergio Busquets in the 80’ minute was dispossessed, leading to a counter, which was neutralised by the recently subbed-in summer arrival, Alonso, who has been a reliable backup defender for the club since the injury-laden days when the primary choices were ruled out from selection due to long term fatigue.
A brilliant counter-attack was initiated by Eric Garcia’s brilliant pass to Ousmane Dembele, who fed the ball to Franck Kessie who had a crack at the goal but Soria pulled of a brilliant save, preventing any further increment in the gap between the two teams.
Not many chances in the latter stages of the game, with the game being cagey for the most parts. It’s an understood fact that every match can not be won with the same ease and comfort, and sometimes you have to grind results out, as the Camp Nou side did again today. The team had his flaws, which they certainly have to minimize, but the teammates covered each other’s faults well, showing a glimpse of the champion mentality this bunch of players possess. Not the best 90 minutes of FC Barcelona’s history by any sort of far-fetched imagination, but all that matters is the precious three points, which the club now has, steeing 6 points clear of the current second placed team, Real Madrid, who face Ernesto Valverde’s Athletic Club in a match shortly after.