Barcelona 4-0 Getafe: 4 talking points

FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga EA Sports
FC Barcelona v Getafe CF - LaLiga EA Sports / Pedro Salado/GettyImages

1. Raphinha and Felix shine on first start since January

After more than a month’s wait due to their injury layoffs, both Raphinha and Joao Felix saw their names on the scoring sheet after an eventful evening which earned them plaudits from the manager as well as the Blaugrana faithful.
Raphinha on the right flank was a constant threat until he was substituted and deservedly bagged a goal with a well timed finish to make it 1-0 for the Catalans. He culminated his excellent showing with an assist for FDJ to make it 3-0 and effectively end the game as a contest just past the hour mark. Raphinha deservedly received an ovation from the crowd whilst getting substituted and took home the player of the match award to cap off a brilliant game for the Blaugranes.
The Brazilian’s blitzkrieg performance came at the best possible time from Xavi’s point of view with important matches coming up in La Liga and the second leg against Napoli to look forward to in 3weeks time. It also provided Lamine Yamal with a rare opportunity to rest after having played practically every minute in February.
Joao Felix was lively on the left flank and combined well with his Portugese mate Cancelo to offer no respite to a Getafe defence who seemed clueless at times. Felix calmly went about doing his work and made it 2-0 just seconds after Getafe had hit the post guarded by MATS to secure some breathing room for Xavi’s side.
With better finishing, both Raphinha and Felix could have had a hattrick against their respective names as they laid through on goal on a number of occasions but their performance would highlight their abilities and inspire a lot of confidence to the two players who’ve been often been criticised by the Barcelona supporters.

2. Xavi’s Tactics pay off

Barcelona manager Xavi has been constantly criticised for his wavy tactics and his stubborn substitutions (or the lack of them) throughout the course of the season. However, the manager deserves acknowledgement for the way his side played against a physical Getafe who are known to play dirty football and make the lives difficult for their opponents.
Starting Christensen as a makeshift pivot alongside Frenkie de Jong has been a good tactical switch in the absence of Gavi and has provided extra stability and personnel to a Barcelona defence which has been leaking goals all season. The Dane had one of his best performances in the Red and Blue shirt and got an assist against his name with a well timed run down the right flank having brilliantly squared the ball off to Felix to finish off a wonderful team move and make it 2-0.
Xavi should also be praised for his instructions to play the ball over the top against a Getafe defence which employed a high line and was always caught chasing the game against the faster Barcelona wingers.
Xavi’s decision to start Cubarsi over Inigo Martinez going for youth over experience was another move that played off with the defender despite being only 17 years of age, having established himself as one for the future with his performances and his calm decision making skills.
Xavi’s substitutions too payed off with Vitor Roque making another brilliant run down the middle but having his shot saved by the goalkeeper in the added minutes of the second half, only for the ball to be slotted home by another substitute in the form if Fermin Lopez. The manager was smart in his approach and gave a well deserved rest to Lamine Yamal and only brought Pedri on for the final quarter of the game.

3. Frenkie De Jong shows his class yet again

A player who quietly slips under the radar but does his best on and off the ball week in week out has to be the Dutchman. He slaughted the ball home in an empty net for Barca’s third of the night and their goal number 11000 in la liga but had an incredible game even if the goal was taken away from his night’s display.
Doing the dirty work in defence, cleaning up his teammate’s mess, driving the ball forward when in possession and making clear cut passes into the foot of his attackers, the Dutchman is a complete package and showed yet again how foolish Barcelona would be to let go off his services. De Jong transfer saga has been a recurring topic everytime the transfer window opens and very recently, news surfaced that he himself was open to a departure after having been against leaving the club, but compare Barcelona’s performances with and without De Jong and you’d realise that it would be the biggest blunder of the Laporta era to let go off such a masterful craftsman who gives his all for the club, without asking for much in return.
Frenkie himself was not proud of his performance but that had more to do with his personality and his desire to always keep improving and becoming a better version of himself. Xavi was all praises for his midfielder in the post match presentation and spoke about his worth both on and off the field.
"You watch the game, you don't see Busquets. You watch Busquets, you see the whole game” is a statement which is slowly turning out to be true for Frenkie De Jong in the Catalan colours.

4. Barcelona cap off a good week with another solid performance

Barcelona went into the last week of February with crucial ties against Napoli and Getafe to look forward to and inspite of not having secured a win in the former, have ended a difficult month on a high with two good performances and an excellent result to go alongside.
On Wednesday, Barcelona outplayed the team from Naples for the first 70 odd minutes and ought to feel they should have left Italy with a lead having squandered plenty of opportunities and having conceded with Napoli’s sole shot on target after a solitary lapse in concentration from an otherwise well structured and cautious defence. The tie is beautifully balanced at 1-1 going into the second leg in Montjuic and the Blaugrana would be counting on their home support to inspire them to a first quarterfinal appearance in the Uefa Champions League since 2019-20.
Against Getafe on Saturday, Barcelona started on the front foot and that pretty much was the case for the remainder of the match barring a couple of moments in the second half wherein the team from Madrid threatened to put the ball past Ter stegen. Barcelona won a game by more than 3 goals for the first time since September and in doing so, kept a cleansheet for the first time in February which was incidentally only their third since the turn of the calendar.
Having endured a difficult season so far, marred by injuries and Xavi’s decision to step down at the end of the season, Barcelona seem to be peaking at the right time and have an almost fit again squad, rearing to make a run in Spain as well as in Europe. Barcelona are currently in second place having played an extra game to that of Girona, but holding onto that position would mean qualification for the Spanish super cup which apart from a chance to win a trophy, would also serve as a financial source for a club ready to accept whatever help comes their way. The La Liga title race is very much alive in the words of Joao Felix and if Barcelona can continue their momentum and if Madrid slips up in a couple of games, it would make the return clasico at Bernabeu a mouth watering prospect. At present though, all the team needs to do is to churn out victories and ensure they are in a position to take advantage.