Wounded Barcelona signed off their home LaLiga campaign with a 2-0 victory over Getafe, whose hopes of a maiden top-four finish are now out of their hands.
Arturo Vidal put Barca ahead on the stroke of half-time and a late own goal sealed a hard-fought win for the Spanish champions.
While the result sees Barca end a miserable week in marginally better spirits, Getafe’s bid to earn Champions League football for the first time suffered a major blow as Valencia – who beat Alaves – replaced them in fourth place.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) May 12, 2019
Getafe now finish their season with a home match against Villarreal knowing they need to better whatever result Valencia get at lowly Real Valladolid.
Barca came into the match with the Spanish title already safely secured but with plenty of doubt and question marks about the future following their latest Champions League nightmare.
Tuesday’s 4-0 semi-final second-leg loss at Liverpool not only saw Barca knocked out of Europe in sensational fashion for the second successive year, but has led to intense speculation as to whether coach Ernesto Valverde and a host of senior players will still be at the club next season.
— LaLiga (@LaLiga) May 12, 2019
But whether or not the winds of change blow through the Nou Camp this summer, the current crop of Barca stars again proved themselves the dominant force domestically, easing aside Getafe to claim their 26th LaLiga win of the season and move 11 points clear at the summit.
Valverde, whose men still have the Copa del Rey final to come, named a strong side for their final LaLiga game of the campaign at the Nou Camp, with eight of the side that started at Anfield retaining their places.
However, if Barca’s fallen heroes were hoping to make amends for their midweek horror show with a high-scoring, high-quality demolition of Getafe, it was not to be.
He’s scored…and not a hair out of place!
— LaLiga (@LaLigaEN) May 12, 2019
They struggled to break down a defence which had previously conceded only 31 goals this season – a tally only bettered by Atletico Madrid in LaLiga – and it took them until six minutes before half-time to finally get their noses in front.
David Soria parried out Lionel Messi’s curling free-kick, which may have flicked the head of Gerard Pique on the way through, and Vidal was quickest to the rebound to stab home.
That was tough on Getafe, who had spurned opportunities to take the lead themselves and had also seen a Jorge Molina effort ruled out for offside.
They also came within inches of netting an 88th-minute equaliser, only for Molina to see his header hit the woodwork.
It then went from bad to worse for Getafe as moments later Barca scored a second goal to kill the game off.
A superb team move showing Barca at their best looked to have opened the door for Messi, but just as the Argentinian appeared set to slot home as he stole in between Mauro Arambarri and Dakonam Djene, a Getafe boot inadvertently turned the ball past Soria.