FOTO: ARXIU FCB

On a chilly afternoon in Madrid, with the rain pounding down on the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, Barça dropped two crucial points against Getafe despite dominating the possession and creating almost all the chances.

Bravo to the rescue

With Neymar absent through injury and his place in the Barça frontline occupied by Pedro, the game got off to a quiet start, with neither side doing anything of note for the first quarter of an hour. Barça gradually started turning their domination of the ball into chances, with a lively Luis Suárez involved in almost all of them, either by supplying assists or shooting at goal but to no avail. In fact, it was Getafe’s Lafita who probably came closest to scoring in the first 45 minutes, following up a great solo run with a fine strike that forced the very best out of an inspired Claudio Bravo.

The main talking points of the half were claims for handball in both areas, Valera at one end and Alves at the other within the space of a minute, but the referee wasn't interested in either.

Unrewarded dominance

The second half saw Barça continue to pile on the pressure. Messi produced two fine free kicks, but one hit the woodwork and the other was saved by Guaita. However, considering that almost all the football was played inside the Getafe half, the chances were relatively few and far between. Suárez sent an attempt over the bar, Xavi had a pop from outside the area, Jordi Alba picked out Messi for a header that also went over, Velázquez got his foot first to what would otherwise have been a golden opportunity to finally break the deadlock – this just wasn’t turning out to be Barça’s day, with Getafe’s ultra-defensive approach not doing anything to help open the game up.

One last push

Munir and Iniesta came on for Rakitic and Pedro, but it still proved extraordinarily difficult to find any way through the extremely tight defence deployed by Getafe manager Cosmin Contra. Despite pushing all the way for the last quarter of an hour, the nearest Barça came to scoring was when Iniesta struck from outside the area. Naldo was perfectly positioned to clear the ball from danger and frustrating afternoon’s work for Barça clawed to an end.

They had proved themselves to be by far the better side, with 23 goal attempts compared to just four for a Getafe side that can only be commended for neutralising that superiority and escaping with a point. This a game that Luis Enrique will be ruing as a valuable opportunity lost.