A stunning Dani Alves strike and a deflected Bojan Krkic effort gave Barcelona a 2-1 victory at home to Getafe in the Primera Division tonight.
Alves opened the scoring after 16 minutes with a majestic volley from 22 yards and Bojan added a second goal early in the second period. But the Catalans suffered a few nervy moments at the end after Manu del Moral's late strike gave Getafe brief hope.
Barcelona, paired with Shakhtar Donetsk in yesterday's UEFA Champions League quarter-final draw, were without captain Carles Puyol, Spain forward Pedro and France full-back Eric Abidal.
Alves hits sweet strike
Abidal underwent surgery on Thursday to remove a tumour on his liver. Both teams paid tribute to the full-back before kick-off as they appeared with T-shirts bearing messages of support to the Frenchman. Abidal, Barcelona's No22, was also cheered by the Catalan fans in the 22nd minute of each half.
Lionel Messi almost gave the home side the lead with an impressive overhead kick after seven minutes, but the Argentinian - improvising with his back to goal - saw his effort saved by Getafe goalkeeper Jordi Codina.
Bojan then shot wide after he was set up by Xavi, but Barcelona took the lead moments later when Alves struck a thunderous shot which gave Codina no chance. The Brazilian right-back, yet to agree a new contract with the Catalan club, flexed his muscles and kissed his biceps in front of a roaring Camp Nou crowd.
A chorus of "Alves, Alves" rang around the stadium, but five minutes later, Barcelona's fans then remembered their other full-back as they saluted Abidal. Xavi almost made it 2-0 with a low, mis-hit effort later in the half which drifted just wide, while David Villa was guilty of missing two great chances to double the lead before the interval.
Bojan doubles the lead
At the other end, Getafe had their moments as well and Victor Valdes had to be alert to save from Javier Casquero after half an hour. The second half started brightly for Barcelona and for Bojan, playing his 100th league match for the club.
The 20-year-old striker, in for the injured Pedro, made it two goals in two games as he was set up by Messi and scored with a deflected shot which left Codina wrong-footed. Bojan and Villa had seen penalty shouts turned down in the first half and both were heavily involved in Barcelona's play.
Neither looked convincing, however, and even Messi was quiet by his exceptional standards. Nevertheless, Barcelona looked largely comfortable, and they would have been more so had Villa converted two decent opportunities late on. It was another off-colour performance from the Spain striker and the home side could have been made to pay for that late on.
Manu was left all alone to sweep home a fine effort on the volley from ten yards with three minutes left, and the striker's goal appeared merely a consolation. That was how it turned out, although Barcelona were forced to scrap in defence as Getafe sought a leveller in added time.
szólj hozzá: Ba2-1Ge