It wasn’t this season’s first Madrid Derby, but a Barcelona 2-0 win over Getafe without an injured Lionel Messi that headlines Saturday’s La Liga action.
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Getafe 0-2 Barcelona
With Lionel Messi out indefinitely, the show that is Barcelona had to go on. And that was exactly what happened on Saturday at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez as the defending champions cruised past Getafe, 2-0.
Luis Suarez, amid all of the questioning of his efficiency at the age of 32, responded to his critics with style. In the 41st minute, following a world-class, across-the-field pass from Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Suarez beat his marker and gently tapped the ball over David Soria.
Barcelona didn’t look back.
Just four minutes into the second half, Juan Firpo – summer arrival from Real Betis – scored his first goal in a Barcelona top. In a game that Antoine Griezmann struggled to find his groove in and Messi missed due to injury, Ernesto Valverde and company pulled through, moving two points shy of leaders and rivals Real Madrid.
Barcelona’s upcoming bouts, however, will give a much clearer perspective on the true status of the team.
Midweek, the Catalonians host Antonio Conte‘s unbeaten Inter Milan in Champions League play before taking on Sevilla days later at the Camp Nou. Getafe, on the other hand, travel to Russia midweek to take on Krasnodar. Days later, in league play, a red-hot Real Sociedad will give them a run for their money.
Atletico Madrid 0-0 Celta Vigo
Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid huffed and puffed for 90 minutes straight, but nothing came from it as the Madrid Derby ended as a scoreless draw at the Wanda Metropolitano Saturday night in Spain’s capital.
With both sides nearly at full strength, the highly-anticipated showdown between both rivals lived up the exactions – without the goals, obviously.
Just as the ball started rolling, Joao Felix was handed Los Colchoneros’ clearest opportunity at goal. The 19-year-old, possibly under the pressure of such passionate derby, rifled it inches off the far post. Later down the stretch of the game, the Portuguese sensation did just the same.
On Real Madrid’s end, if it wasn’t for Jan Oblak’s formidable night, Zinedine Zidane’s men easily could have ran away with three points. Toni Kroos, who was one of the game’s better players, had to key chances which were denied by Oblak. In the dying minutes of the game, Karim Benzema forced the Atletico Madrid goalkeeper to make a save-of-the-week type of block, which denied the visitors from winning the game.
Atletico Madrid, winners once in their last five games, travel to Moscow to take on Lokomotiv in Champions League group stage play, while Real Madrid host club Brugge midweek in the same competition.
Elsewhere in La Liga
Villarreal 5-1 Real Betis
Athletic Bilbao 0-1 Valencia
Granada 1-0 Leganes