Vidal 7/10, Messi 6/10 as Barca bounce back vs. Getafe
BARCELONA, Spain -- A goal from Arturo Vidal and an own goal were enough for Barcelona to beat Getafe 2-0 at Camp Nou on Sunday as the recovery process for their Champions League collapse at Liverpool began.
Vidal bundled home from close range in the first half and Lionel Messi forced what wound up being a late own goal for the second as the Spanish champions extended their lead at the top of the table to 11 points with just one game to go.
Ernesto Valverde said it was important to get back onto the pitch as soon as possible following Tuesday's 4-0 loss at Anfield. It was also important to win. Barca managed that with a professional performance, even if it felt flat inside a half-full Camp Nou. Messi took a while to get going but eventually proved the motor in the second half, while there was a first-team debut for teenage forward Abel Ruiz.
Barca will now focus on closing the league season with a win at Eibar next week and then beating Valencia in the Copa del Rey final to end the campaign with a second successive domestic double.
It wasn't as bad as it could have been but the atmosphere was hostile at times. There were whistles as the team came out at the start of the game and jeers for Philippe Coutinho whenever he got on the ball. Sergio Busquets was also whistled by his own supporters after two giveaways of the ball.
Manager rating out of 10
6 -- Valverde kept his changes to a minimum after the Liverpool debacle, giving those who lost the chance to make amends. Luis Suarez was absent through injury, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Clement Lenglet were rested.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating.)
GK Jasper Cillessen, 6 -- Kept a welcome clean sheet on a rare league outing at Camp Nou. With a summer transfer likely, this may well have been his goodbye to the Barca fans.
DF Sergi Roberto, 6 -- Comfortable at right-back and creative when pushed into a midfield role. Set up the second goal.
DF Gerard Pique, 6 -- The title might be won and the Champions League gone, but that didn't affect Pique's enthusiasm. Burst forward to join in the attack at every given opportunity. Also took care of business at the back: keeping the dangerous duo of Jorge Molina and Angel off the scoresheet.
DF Samuel Umtiti, 5 -- Making back-to-back league starts for the first time since September, some of the French defender's passing was a reminder of what he can offer this side. However, still looks short of his best form.
DF Jordi Alba, 6 -- Worked hard up and down the left flank as he looked to move on from his two mistakes against Liverpool.
MF Sergio Busquets, 5 -- Gave the ball away sloppily in the first half but improved after the break. Despite that, his position at the base of the midfield is slowly coming under scrutiny.
MF Arturo Vidal, 7 -- One of the few players cheered by the Barcelona supporters. They loved his effort, flying in for every tackle. He can also play, though, and grabbed the opening goal from close range.
FW Malcom, 6 -- Brought one really good save out of Soria, although it would have been ruled out by VAR if he'd scored because Pique was offside in the build-up. Also produced a couple of decent runs with the ball, but didn't really do enough to trouble Getafe's defence.
FW Lionel Messi, 6 -- Didn't always look completely interested playing in a central role. That said, he finally got going in the second half. Always looked a threat when running at the opposition defence and forced the own goal in the 89th minute.
FW Philippe Coutinho, 5 -- Apart from one pass over the top that created a chance for Malcom, he failed to impose himself on the game. Was whistled by a minority of supporters for the first 20 minutes. From that point on, each touch was greeted by a mixture of jeers and applause as other sections of the crowd tried to get behind him. Taken off with a knock.
MF Carles Alena, 6 -- Produced a couple of good through balls in a decent cameo off the bench.
FW Abel Ruiz, N/R -- The 19-year-old striker came on for his first-team debut in place of the injured Coutinho and was denied a dream goal by a Soria save.
DF Nelson Semedo N/R -- A late arrival in the game, replacing Malcom to free Sergi Roberto.