Lionel Messi bagged a brace to fire Barcelona to victory over Getafe in the 2020-21 La Liga as we get closer to the end of the season to stay in the hunt for the title. However, Atletico Madrid did their job as well as they beat Huesca to stay 3 points clear of Real Madrid in the Spanish title race.
The Catalans are currently 5 points behind league leaders Atleti but have a game in hand. A win in that game would see them leapfrogging arch-rivals Real Madrid into 2nd place and put them only 2 points behind Diego Simeone’s side who have 6 games left to secure the title.
Lionel Messi was extremely selfless as he gave up the chance for another hat-trick on Thursday as Barcelona cruised to a 5-2 win over Getafe. The Argentinian scored twice and could have had a third in injury-time at the Camp Nou but instead, let Antoine Griezmann take a penalty, which the Frenchman dispatched with ease.
“He’s the best in the world, he never lets up,” said Barca coach Ronald Koeman praising his side’s captain, Messi. “If he lowers his concentration, you never notice. Hopefully, he stays for many more years.”
After beating Athletic Bilbao to lift the Copa del Rey last weekend, Barca is now in the hunt for the double, sitting five points behind Atletico Madrid but still with a game in hand.
Atletico had earlier secured victory over Huesca 2-0 to register back-to-back victories for the first time since January and with Real Madrid also seeing off Cadiz on Wednesday, no team can afford to drop points as there is no margin for error now in what is proving to be one of the most thrilling battles we have seen for the title as there are 3 teams in the mix.
Real Madrid, Atleti and Barcelona all managed to overcome the troubling few days with all that transpired with the European Super League given that all the three clubs had signed up initially for the hugely controversial breakaway league on Sunday.
Things have changed drastically since then as all English clubs backed out. Atletico Madrid withdrew from the Super League on Wednesday but Barca and Real Madrid remain committed to the league that would transform European football in a massive way.
Getafe were wearing t-shirts in protest against the Super League, even as they gave Barcelona a guard of honour following their Copa del Rey success.
Messi now has 33 goals in all competitions and 25 in the league, which is one more than the total scored by the entire Getafe team!
Getafe are not safe yet from relegation, as they are only four points above the bottom three in La Liga.
Barcelona 5-2 Getafe
Messi opened the scoring in the eighth minute, as Sergio Busquets picked him out with a perfectly accurate pass that the Argentine placed into the far top corner, that Getafe goalkeeper David Soria could not keep out.
Somehow, Getafe drew level just four minutes later as Angel met Marc Cucurella’s cross, which cruelly deflected off Barca defender Clement Lenglet and flew into the back of the net to make it 1-1.
Another own-goal restored Barcelona’s lead, with Sofian Chakla failing to spot Soria coming off his goal line before passing the ball beyond the goalkeeper and into his own net.
The game looked done and dusted when Messi doubled his tally and made it three. Lenglet’s looping header gave Messi the chance to volley a left-footed shot against the far post but the ball found its way back to the captain, who finished it off with his right foot instead.
Getafe scored as Enes Unal converted a penalty that he won when Ronald Araujo fouled him in the box to make it nervy for the home side with the score now at 3-2.
However, Barcelona showed their class as they pulled away with two late goals. Araujo made amends for his penalty giveaway after heading in a corner from Messi to make it 4-2. Griezmann finished off the job with a penalty in injury time to give the Catalans a resounding 5-2 victory in the end.
Atletico Madrid 2-0 Huesca
Atletico Madrid moved back up to the top of the table thanks to goals from Angel Correa and Yannick Carrasco.
After managing only four wins in the last 13 games in all competitions, Atleti have now won two in two, following up last weekend’s thrashing of Eibar. It seemed like Diego Simeone’s side were crumbling under pressure but it may have just been a simple slump in form as they now seem to be back on track.
With Luis Suarez out injured, Correa has filled the void and is doing so pretty well. He scored twice against Eibar on Sunday and put Atletico ahead again after 39 minutes.
Koke freed Kieran Trippier down the right flank before Marcos Llorente played the ball into Correa, who rolled inside onto his left foot and pulled his finish back into the corner.
Atletico were very much in charge of the game but managed to find the killer goal late on in the 80th minute as Carrasco scored after the tireless Llorente robbed the ball back on the edge of the area and gave his team-mate a simple finish to secure a crucial 3 points in the race for La Liga supremacy.