Barca trail one point behind Real after crushing victory
Updated: 2012-04-11 10:09
MADRID - FC Barcelona piled the pressure on Real Madrid with a comfortable 4-0 win at home to Getafe on Tuesday.
The win takes Barca to within just one point of Real Madrid, who face a difficult game away to local rivals Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night. Should Real fail to win that game, Barcelona would have the destiny of the title back in their hands after being 10 points behind their rivals just 6 matches ago.
Barcelona kicked off with full back Dani Alves and central defender Gerard Pique both rested and coach Pep Guardiola playing a brave three man defense against a Getafe side who had beaten them earlier in the season.
Barca were quickly in control and opened the scoring after 14 minutes with a powerful shot from Alexis Sanchez from just inside the Getafe area.
Xavi Hernandez thought he had added a second shortly afterwards, but his chip over Getafe keeper Miguel Angel Moya was not given, although TV replays implied it had crossed the goal line.
After 22 minutes the Barca fans dedicated a round of applause to defender Eric Abidal, the wearer of the club's No. 22 shirt, who underwent a liver transplant operation earlier in the day.
Following a brief spell of Getafe pressure, it was down to Andres Iniesta and Leo Messi to double Barca's lead as Messi fired home a powerful shot following a wonderful backheel from Iniesta.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi controls the ball against Getafe Cata during their Spanish first division soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona April 10, 2012.[Photo/Agencies]
The second half was a reasonably dull affair until the 73rd minute when Isaac Cuenca crossed for Alexis to head home the third goal of the game and two minutes later Pedro Rodriguez accepted Messi's pass to make it 4-0.
Earlier in the day, Real Sociedad and Betis both took another small step towards safety with a 1-1 draw. Carlos Vela put Real Sociedad ahead on 65 minutes, before Ruben Castro leveled four minutes later.
Osasuna recovered from two heavy defeats to win 2-0 at home to Espanyol thanks to two second half goals from Raul Garcia. Espanyol had Juan Forlin and Phillipe Coutinho sent off in the second half and the result seriously harms their chances of playing in Europe next season.
Osasuna will end the round of matches in sixth place whatever the remaining results between now and Thursday.