Football

ANOTHER FOOTBALLING MASTERCLASS

Sometimes life simply isn’t fair. You can do your absolute best to achieve a certain goal or work towards a particular endeavor, but it doesn’t always work out.

This in no way implies that Getafe came to Camp Nou with a solid plan to contain the blaugrana. The Madrid-based team started the game a point from the relegation zone, knowing that they’d have to face 3 of the top 4 teams over the coming few weeks. You wouldn’t fault them for being demoralized and expecting a spanking from the best team in the world, but they didn’t have a choice. A team fighting for its place in the league is always a dangerous proposition. With Atlético Madrid playing very well as of late a slip-up would have been dangerous.

Then again, life isn’t fair. It isn’t fair that this Barça team goes into every game expecting to win and has not been handed a loss in 37 straight games. It isn’t fair that they have the best front line in the history of the game, who will simply outscore you even if you do manage to put one in the blaugrana net. It isn’t fair that the best player in the world is on a scoring run that matches that of his most prolific calendar year to date.

In all probability, Getafe was never going to trouble the blaugrana but as a cautious clue who’s seen this team achieve the seemingly impossible several times over the last few years, you always think that the run has to end at some point. Life isn’t fair, but its been more than fair to the blaugrana and with Lionel Messi playing the way he is, life doesn’t have to be fair. Messi isn’t exactly fair either.

Getafe started off the game pressing high and playing with an intensity that showed they were aware of their current predicament. The first goal was a bit unfortunate for them in the sense that it came from one of their own as a Jordi Alba cross became an own-goal.

Shades of the irrepressible Barça passing were already showing before that goal was scored, but after that goal one man put on a masterclass you simply had to see for yourself. Leo has been in breathtaking form since the turn of the year but somehow managed to turn it up a notch today. Any youngsters that want to see how to time passes to perfection simply need to watch the Argentine’s exhibition today.

The assist leading to Munir’s goal on the night was a pass the likes of which I’ve never seen before on a football pitch. A typical Iniesta flick was volleyed first time straight onto Munir’s head, who couldn’t miss even if he wanted to. Messi then set up Neymar twice in almost identical fashion, playing two perfectly weighted passes into the Brazilian’s path for him to finish the first time. The Brazilian could have had a super-hattrick of goals, all from Messi assists, if he was more clinical on the day.

All this came, of course, after the now customary miss from the penalty spot. The only blemish on his game today, it raised his level further and the final scoreline is a direct consequence of that. The only goal he wasn’t involved in was Arda Turan’s, which came from a corner kick. 3 assists, one pre-assist for the own goal and a long-range golazo that had the entire stadium rocking. He may not be able to score penalties regularly, but he can do everything else better than anyone else.

Messi was unbelievable and can be talked about without being done justice for eternity. As much as he is an individual genius at times, some of his team-mates put on stellar performances today as well.

Neymar got amongst the goals again, taking his league tally to 20. The Brazilian has been off-color recently but a week break and time spent in Brazil seems to have done him a world of good, even though there is still some room for improvement in his finishing.

Don Andrés Iniesta was as perfect as Messi was unbelievable. Everything he wanted to do he did, and in a way only he can. As long as he is here and in this form we need to celebrate him, and the likes of Pogba and Veratti can stay put.

Sergio Roberto – what an ascent he’s had. The biggest compliment to him today was that you couldn’t tell that Sergio Busquets wasn’t on the pitch. The ‘pivot’ position at Barca is arguably the most important and difficult, so Roberto’s mastery of it says a lot of both him and Lucho, the man who believed in him. The young Spaniard has now excelled at right-back, right-wing, left-back and all over the midfield, and as Lucho said is definitely someone Del Bosque should be considered for a Euro berth.

Arda Turan continued his adaptation to the team with a very good performance as well, capping it off with a bicycle kick-goal. The Turk will become more useful as he plays more often and I expect great things of him.

A 6-0 win at home with all the attacking players having very good games, culminating in the Camp Nou chanting Lucho’s name. The coach will be ecstatic with the way his team played today and again deserves immense credit for overseeing almost two seasons worth of great football and even better results. The Barça juggernaut continues on its path, looking as indomitable as ever.

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