Lionel Messi feast saves Barcelona and angry Koeman against Getafe

Lionel Messi had already scored more goals than Getafe this season, 23 at 22, prior to the Camp Nou encounter, extending that lead in the first half. After only three minutes, the visitors escaped a goal when a bet by Messi went against the bottom of the bar and back into the field via the goal line. Less than five minutes later, the club top scorer of Barcelona did have his goal. After a sublime through pass from Sergio Busquets Messi showed the defenders his heels and worked the ball behind goalkeeper David Soria: 1-0.

However, Barcelona’s lead only lasted a few minutes. After a pass from Marc Cucurella from the left, Ángel worked the ball on goal and it went unhappily behind goalkeeper Marc-André ter Stegen via Clément Lenglet: 1-1. Even more unfortunate was the way Getafe gave Barcelona the 2-1 as a gift after less than half an hour of play. Sofian Chakla and Soria did not understand each other well, after which the defender very clumsily shot the ball into their own goal. Messi put the halftime score on the scoreboard five minutes later. Getafe could not get the ball out of the penalty area, after which Messi finally shot the ball first on the left post and then worked it in the rebound: 3-1.

Barcelona and Messi’s first half statistics were telling. No less than 83 percent possession of the ball for the Koeman team and each of the six attempts to score came from Messi: the shot on the crossbar in minute three, the goal in minute eight, a failed shot in minute sixteen, a save by Soria on a shot from Messi in minute twenty, a shot from Messi on the post in minute 33 and a goal from Messi in minute 33. In the first six league matches of this season, Messi did not get further than one goal (a striking penalty kick against Villarreal), but in his last 23 duels in LaLiga he scored no less than 24 goals.

Koeman made two changes at half time: Gerard Piqué and Lenglet were allowed to rest after 45 minutes and Ilaix Moriba and Ronald Araújo came on. Getafe tried to get back into the game after the break, but Marc-André ter Stegen had a relatively quiet evening. Still, after more than an hour of play, the tension returned to the game. The VAR came into action after a duel between Ronald Araújo and Enes Ünal, after which the referee returned to his decision and pointed to the spot. The substitute himself took care of the eleven-meter stairs and reduced the disadvantageous margin for the visitors: 3-2.

The worried look on the face of Koeman, who had brought Trincao in for Sergi Roberto just before the 3-2, was telling. The Dutchman was even furious with Óscar Mingueza twenty minutes before the end when the defender went forward in an attack while the Catalans played with only three defenders. Mingueza had to pay for that a few minutes later with a substitution Samuel Umtiti, after which he was not inspected by Koeman just before the reserve bench. Just before the end, the liberating 4-2 for Barcelona followed: Araújo headed the ball in hard after a corner from Messi. In the extra time, the 5-2 also fell: after a charge by Chakla on Griezmann, Messi awarded a penalty to Griezmann and the Frenchman himself put the final score on the scoreboard.

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