Barcelona beat Getafe 2-0 in a feisty affair at the Coliseum on Saturday afternoon, with goals from Luis Suarez and Junior Firpo earning manager Ernesto Valverde a crucial away victory for the current La Liga champions.
Los Cules took the lead on 40 minutes, Suarez latching onto a long ball over the top by Marc-Andre ter Stegen and expertly lobbing the stranded Getafe goalkeeper. Firpo doubled the lead just after half-time, tucking away a rebound from a vicious Carles Perez effort.
Defender Clement Lenglet was sent off in the final ten minutes of the match for a second bookable offence, but the away side held on to earn a valuable three points on the road for the first time since April.
Key Talking Point
Getafe have made a slow start to the new season, struggling to cope with the demands of Europa League football and domestic responsibilities. Jose Bordalas' side finished fifth in last season's La Liga, and only missed out on Champions League football by two points.
Los Azulones have won one of their opening seven league matches this season, but have tied four of those contests. Bordalas will be pleased with the fight and determination his side showed against the La Liga holders, and Getafe will be confident in turning their draws into wins in the coming weeks.
No need to push the panic button just yet.
Starting XI: David Soria (5); Damián Suárez (6), Djené (6), Bruno (6), Nyom (5); Jason (5), Arambarri (6), Maksimović (6), Cucurella (6); Ángel (5), Jaime Mata (5)
Substitutes: Kennedy (7), Molina (6), Portillo (6)
STAR MAN - Kenedy came on at half-time and really impressed on the Getafe left-hand side. The Chelsea winger was determined to make an impact on proceedings, and demanded the ball regularly, and was prepared to test the Barca backline with his trickery and neat footwork.
The Brazilian winger was on the wrong end of a controversial decision by the referee, as the 23-year-old robbed Sergio Busquets and started a dangerous four-on-two attack for the hosts.
The man in the middle decided that Kenedy's intervention was illegal, and pulled play back for a free-kick, when the home side seemed destined to get themselves back into the game.
A potentially game-changing moment.
Key Talking Point
The 23rd of April 2019. That was the last time that Barcelona had won an away game in La Liga. Almost half a year later, la Blaugrana have broken their traveling curse. The league champions have struggled desperately away from Camp Nou in recent times, and their poor results continued into the new season.
Valverde will be thrilled to have gotten this monkey off his back, especially in their current testing circumstances. Los Cules had to face Getafe without the best player in the world, Lionel Messi, which would hinder any team.
Coupled with the sidelined Jordi Alba and the late news that Ousmane Dembele was not fit to play, the Barca boss will be thrilled with the three points on Saturday afternoon.
Starting XI: Ter Stegen (9); Sergi Roberto (7), Piqué (7), Lenglet (8), Junior (7); Busquets (7), Arthur (8), De Jong (8); Carles Pérez (8), Luis Suárez (8), Griezmann (7)
Substitutes: Semedo (6), Rakitic (6), Todibo (N/A)
STAR MAN - In what has been a controversial week for German goalkeepers, Ter Stegen proved to everyone why he should be the first-choice shot-stopper for the German national team. Bayern Munich believe Manuel Neuer is the best in the country and the Bundesliga champions have threatened to pull all of their senior players out of the Germany team.
Marc-André ter Stegen has become the first Barcelona keeper to provide an assist in La Liga in the 21st century. [opta]— barcacentre (@barcacentre) September 28, 2019
Ter Stegen is without doubt the in-form and most impressive goalkeeper for Joachim Low's side, and he demonstrated it once again on Saturday afternoon. The 27-year-old made some crucial saves in the first half as Getafe threatened to pile more misery on Barca, before the German provided a brilliant assist to give the away side the lead just before half-time.
Vital contributions at both ends of the pitch for today's star man.
Ter Stegen starts it and Suarez with the chip over the goalkeeper. It's 1-0 Barcelona and credit to Suarez for getting to it. Lovely pass by the person who should be Germany's number 1 goalkeeper and great finish by Suarez.— Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) September 28, 2019
My word. Goal Barca. Brilliant defending from Ter Stegen and then an assist for Suarez!— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) September 28, 2019
Getafe face a trip to Krasnodar on Thursday evening in the Europa League, before returning to domestic action where they'll travel to Real Sociedad, hoping to get back to winning ways.
Barcelona host Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday night, with both teams aiming to collect their first three points of their European campaign. Valverde's men then host Sevilla in what will be a tough contest for the Catalan club.