After the dismal exhibition by Real Madrid against the newly promoted Cadiz, it was time for their arch-rivals Barcelona to follow the same path. Ronald Koeman tasted a defeat for the first time as the manager of Barcelona as his boys failed to capitalize on the Cadiz victory, slipping to a 1-0 defeat at Getafe and missed the chance to move level on points with their arch-rivals.

Koeman decided to rest some of his players – Philippe Coutinho and Ansu Fati – and included Pedri in the central attacking midfield and Dembele on the left, while Antoine Griezmann was given the role of a scorer with Lionel Messi on the right. The newly signed Sergino Dest was played as a left-back!

No sooner had the game started, Getafe pressed with the ball did not shy being physical when necessary. Barça tried to keep possession and create good offense but kept losing the ball in the final third, though the Catalans did do a good job of pressing without the ball to get it back and never suffered defensively.

Still, Barca created breakthroughs –  Early on it was Lionel Messi who hit the post after a nice pass from Sergino Dest, then Griezmann found himself all alone in front of David Soria but sent his shot over the bar; finally, Clement Lenglet couldn’t get contact on a perfect cross from Messi and missed another good chance.

The controversial moment came on a clear elbow from Allan Nyom to Messi’s jaw that deserved at least a second look from VAR to see if it could be a red card, but the referee decided that Nyom could walk away without a booking.

Getafe became more physical in the second outing.

Getafe tried to have more of the ball to create some problems, and they were given a huge gift when Frenkie De Jong brought Djené down inside the box to give the home team a penalty, which Jaime Mata scored with ease.

Jaime Mata has scored more penalty goals than any other Getafe player in La Liga – eight penalty goals from nine attempts – one more than Jorge Molina.

Koeman decided to change the shape and called on Fati and Coutinho.

Coutinho and Fati were very active and tried to inject spark but the desired outcome never came.

One thing for sure, Coutinho’s shooting powers have diminished over the years. One of the most dangerous shooters outside the box in world football not so long ago, Coutinho now relies more on depth touches and cool finishes rather than those thunderbolts which were a treat for the eyes.

In the final stages of the game Barca went desperate but lacked the cutting-edge and in turn, started to give Getafe a lot of space to counter. Koeman made one last roll of the dice with Francisco Trincao, Martin Braithwaite, Riqui Puig, and an ultra-attacking lineup, and there were a couple of big moments, including a near spectacular own goal by Cabaco, but the score remained 1-0 in favour of Getafe.

Koeman kept the possession-based football intact with the visitors having 73% of it, but they were on target just once, which indicates, Koeman still needs to improve on the sharpness.

Barca have scored just eight goals after four games in La Liga this season, their lowest tally at this stage since 2015-16: also eight!

Rather than Barca, it was Getafe who displayed the determination to win. This was a performance that typified Jose Bordalas’ side; they conceded 20 fouls and were happy to be without the ball for long spells, yet they still had more total shots and more attempts on target than the opposition.


Getafe have recorded their third win against Barcelona in La Liga, all three at Coliseum Alfonso Perez. Their previous win against them in the competition was in November 2011, under Luis Garcia Plaza.

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