Lionel Messi and Neymar unstoppable for Barcelona vs. Getafe
Lionel Messi, Neymar (brace), Munir and Arda Turan helped Barcelona demolish Getafe 6-0 at the Camp Nou in round 29 of La Liga. The Blaugrana's overwhelming dominance resulted in 70 percent of possession, 17 goalscoring chances created and 16 shots attempted, 10 of them on target.
Despite Getafe's initially ambitious approach, the hosts managed to dominate the game from the initial whistle, even though manager Luis Enrique had decided to rest regulars Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves, Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez ahead of Wednesday's clash against Arsenal in the Champions League. The hosts' relentless attitude helped them achieve a remarkable 4-0 lead before half-time and, from that point on, both teams knew it was going to be a damage-limitation exercise for the visitors after the break.
Their latest exhibition takes Luis Enrique's side to an unprecedented 37 consecutive games unbeaten and provisionally 11 points clear at the top of the domestic league table. Although the competition is clearly far from over, it is truly hard to imagine this ultra-professional group of players letting their hard-earned advantage slip away before the end of the season.
Player Ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):
GK Claudio Bravo, 7 -- Little more than a privileged spectator throughout the game. Saved Getafe's only shot on target with confidence to secure yet another clean sheet in his second season at the Camp Nou.
DF Aleix Vidal, 7 -- Far more confident than in his previous showing, the former Sevilla winger posed a constant attacking threat against Getafe. If he continues to progress at this rate, Vidal could soon be challenging for Alves' starting spot.
DF Jeremy Mathieu, 7 -- A comfortable game for the French international, who was rarely challenged defensively. Played the ball accurately even when under pressure, which has certainly been rarity this season.
DF Gerard Pique, 8 -- Solid defensively and efficient when challenged. As has been the case of late, joined in attack frequently and even had time to smash the ball into the Getafe crossbar and assist Turan for the hosts' sixth.
DF Jordi Alba, 7 -- Overlapped constantly from the left flank and tracked back whenever needed. Crossed the ball that resulted in Barca's opener after Juan Rodriguez deflected the ball into the back of his own net.
MF Sergi Roberto, 8 -- Deputised for the rested Busquets at the heart of the Catalans' midfield. The versatile youngster adapted constantly to the team's needs and always seemed to have the upper hand defensively. Distributed the ball well and tackled promptly as soon as his team were dispossessed, delivering yet another high-calibre overall performance.
MF Andres Iniesta, 9 -- The inspirational captain dominated the hosts' attacking third with his unrivalled creativity and unstoppable vision. Created Barca's second with a beautiful, inventive through ball to Messi early on, a moment which unbalanced the game in his team's favour. At this level, the World Cup winner could very well fulfill the dreams of Cules everywhere and lead the team to back-to-back Trebles.
MF Arda Turan, 8 -- Another step in the right direction for the Turkish international. While the former Atletico Madrid playmaker is clearly still adapting to the Blaugrana mechanisms, his improvement of late is certainly encouraging. Completed his best game as a Barcelona player in style, scoring his first goal at the Camp Nou with an inventive scissor-kick to be proud of.
FW Neymar, 9 -- Another superb outing from the Brazilian star. Blatantly kicked inside the area to force the early penalty that resulted in Messi missing from the spot once again. Slotted the ball confidently past the visitors' keeper for Barca's third. Hit the crossbar after an acrobatic volley following a superb chipped ball from the No. 10. Scored Barca's fifth, his 20th league goal of the season, with a perfectly executed strike when facing Getafe goalkeeper Vicente Guaita one-on-one.
FW Munir, 8 -- After scoring five goals in the five appearances, he has been trusted in 2016 and the La Masia graduate was the automatic pick to start instead of the rested Suarez. His relentless attitude was deservedly rewarded when he found the net with an astute header after one of his many purposeful runs into space. If his current form continues, Barca may not need to sign a fourth forward next summer after all..
FW Lionel Messi, 9 -- Another day at the office for the five-time Ballon d'Or winner. Missed from the penalty spot to take the Catalans' percentage this season to an alarming 50 percent with only 10 of 20 penalties converted. However, the No. 10 refused to throw in the towel and redeemed himself in spectacular fashion by providing Munir with an astonishing pass for the hosts' second, assisting Neymar for the team's third and fifth and scoring the fourth with a phenomenal long-range strike that made the Camp Nou faithful spring from their seats. A true genius.
DF Thomas Vermaelen, 6 -- Substituted Mathieu after 60 minutes, slotting well at the heart of the Catalans' back-line.
MF Sergi Samper, 7 -- On for Iniesta with 30 minutes to go. Performed well when under pressure and ensured the ball kept flowing fluidly across the park.
DF Marc Bartra, 6 -- Replaced Pique after 67 minutes and solved the few difficulties he faced with relative ease.