Sports

February 24, 2024

Barcelona thump Getafe to go second

Barcelona thump Getafe to go second

Barcelona’s Polish forward #09 Robert Lewandowski vies with Getafe’s Uruguayan defender #04 Gaston Alvarez during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Getafe CF at the Estadi Olimpic Lluis Companys in Barcelona on February 24, 2024. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)

Xavi’s rejigged Barcelona side thrashed Getafe 4-0 on Saturday to climb to second in La Liga with recalled duo Joao Felix and Raphinha getting on the scoresheet.

The defending champions climbed above Girona and have 57 points from 26 games.

Leaders Real Madrid have 62 points and play their game in hand at home to Sevilla on Sunday.

Real Madrid hope to take their La Liga unbeaten tally to 20 matches as they await old boy Sergio Ramos, who returns for the first time since he left in 2021 to join PSG.

Joao Felix and Raphinha missed the midweek Champions League 1-1 draw at Napoli and their return paid dividends.

“We knew which spaces to attack and opened them up on several occasions and that’s where the goals came from. It’s a victory which gives us a little more peace of mind,” said Xavi.

Brazilian forward Raphinha broke the deadlock on 20 minutes latching onto a deep pass with a well-timed run and slick shot into the bottom corner.

Raphinha was involved in the build-up to the second goal as Felix doubled the lead with a far post tap in after 53 minutes, just after Getafe had hit the post.

Robert Lewandowski thought he’d made it 3-0 just before the hour but was ruled off-side.

The Pole has netted nine goals in his last 13 appearances, but was also twice denied by good saves on Saturday.

Dutch midfielder Frenkie De Jong did make it 3-0 just after the hour with a well struck shot from outside the box before Fermin Lopez tapped home a rebound in time added on.

A minute’s silence was observed before the match as a mark of respect following a fire tragedy at a 14-storey apartment block which killed 10 people in Valencia.

The scheduled Liga game between Granada and Valencia was postponed.