Barcelona sneaks past gritty Getafe as Griezmann shines

Barcelona beat third-placed Getafe 2-1 at home to stay on the heels of La Liga title rival Real Madrid but the champion was made to sweat for the three points.

A slick Antoine Griezmann strike set Barcelona on its way against Getafe in La Liga on Saturday before it survived a late onslaught from the gritty visitor to win 2-1.

A slick Antoine Griezmann strike set Barcelona on its way against Getafe in La Liga on Saturday before it survived a late onslaught from the gritty visitor to win 2-1.   -  AFP

Barcelona beat third-placed Getafe 2-1 at home on Saturday to stay on the heels of La Liga title rival Real Madrid but the champion was made to sweat for all three points by the impressive visitor.

Antoine Griezmann sent the Catalans ahead in the 34th minute with a cool finish with the outside of his left foot after being played in by an outstanding pass from Lionel Messi, while Sergi Roberto doubled Barca's lead five minutes later.

Getafe pulled a goal back in the 66th with a stunning volley from striker Angel Rodriguez, who almost snatched an equaliser but was denied by Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who then flew to the floor to prevent Jaime Mata netting on the rebound.

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The victory took Barcelona level on 52 points with Real Madrid, which leads the standings on goal difference and hosts Celta Vigo on Sunday. Getafe stays third on 42.

Getafe coach Jose Bordalas felt his side was unlucky to lose and claimed Barca was looking to waste time towards the end of the game.

“We put in a fantastic effort and no-one should forget we are a small team and put in a great performance. It's a shame we couldn't get the best result,” he told reporters.

“They couldn't wait for the game to end because they were taking their time in every play. Football has been unfair to us today. We played in their half for large parts of the game but we just lacked that bit of quality which the big teams have.”

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Barca goalscorer Griezmann admitted his side had endured a tough afternoon.

“Getafe are a very difficult team to face, and they are near the top of the table for a reason,” he said.

“We tried to stay calm and keep playing the ball out from the back. We found it really tough and we suffered a lot but sometimes it's good to suffer.”

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