Suarez on target as Barca see off Getafe

first_imgLuis Suarez set Barcelona on their way to a first away victory of the LaLiga season as they won 2-0 at Getafe on Saturday.Forget the often hare-brained defending from the Catalan giants, Barcelona got what they came for: three points safely accrued ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Inter.For coach Ernesto Valverde, the pressure eases just a little, and the fact they notched this victory without Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele, both sidelined with thigh injuries, is another source of encouragement. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Suarez lobbed in the 41st-minute opener, and Junior Firpo tucked in Barcelona’s second from close range early in the second half for his first goal for the club. Getafe spurned first-half chances they might have gobbled up on another day and Clement Lenglet’s 84th-minute dismissal for two yellow cards came too late to give them any real advantage.Valverde fielded a front three of Carles Perez, Suarez and Antoine Griezmann. The game largely passed Griezmann by, not for the first time since his summer switch from Atletico Madrid.Getafe were unbeaten in their last eight home LaLiga matches; however, Barcelona had won on 10 of their 14 previous visits to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez in LaLiga, more than any other visiting side. What a beautiful sight! #ForcaBarça #GetafeBarca— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 28, 2019Perez tested David Soria in the Getafe goal early on, before Suarez stabbed a shot wide following a smart throughball from Frenkie de Jong.Barcelona’s defence was then picked apart too easily, with Angel allowed space to shoot from six yards, his strike blocked by the legs of Marc-Andre ter Stegen.Jaime Mata had a close-range effort deflect wide off Junior at the other, with Barcelona increasingly shambolic at the back. Inter will have taken encouragement.But Suarez pounced to give Barcelona a 1-0 lead in the 41st minute when a clearance from Ter Stegen turned into a great long ball for the Uruguayan striker to chase, and he lobbed Soria in style.Soria was culpable for Barcelona’s second four minutes into the second half, as he could only push a 25-yard shot from Perez back into play, and Junior had an easy finish.Suarez and Perez almost added to the lead, while Arthur nearly fired past Soria into an empty net after the goalkeeper went walkabout, but two was enough. What does it mean? Barca punish wasteful hostsIt means what we already knew: that Barcelona will typically have too much firepower, if the opposition fail to take their own chances. There was little liquid football on show from the defending LaLiga champions, but a big boot downfield from their goalkeeper and a composed finish from their arch predator defined this game. Sometimes such rudimentary football will do. At other times, they will need to find a greater finesse.Ter Stegen makes historyIncredibly, Ter Stegen’s long kick that set up Suarez resulted in a first LaLiga assist by a Barcelona goalkeeper in the 21st century. It was an altogether un-Barcelona-like piece of playing out from the back.1 – @mterstegen1 has become the first @FCBarcelona’s keeper to provide an assist in #LaLiga 21st Century. Pioneer#GetafeBarca— OptaJose (@OptaJose) September 28, 2019No Messi, yet too messyMessi typically has little direct involvement in Barcelona’s defending, but whenever he is on the pitch the Argentinian hoists up the standards of those around him. Without him on Saturday, Barcelona lacked guile. It was nowhere more obvious than in their rocky rearguard where some laughable interplay played into Getafe’s hands. Inter are unlikely to be as sparing with their finishing as Getafe.Key Opta facts- Barcelona have won 11 LaLiga games at Coliseum Alfonso Perez more than any other side.- Junior has scored six goals in his LaLiga career, all of them against different opponents.- Barcelona have had 10 different scorers in LaLiga this season, more than any other side in the top five European Leagues. – Suarez has been involved in seven goals in his seven LaLiga games against Getafe (five goals and two assists). What’s next?A major test awaits Barcelona as they tackle Serie A high-flyers Inter in the Champions League on Wednesday. Getafe face FC Krasnodar in the Europa League on Thursday. read morelast_img read more

Relief for Liverpool as Salah avoids serious ankle injury

first_imgMohamed Salah has avoided serious injury following Liverpool’s victory over Leicester City on Saturday,  Goal  can confirm.The Egypt international was forced off after a challenge from Foxes midfielder Hamza Choudhury in the closing stages of the Reds’ 2-1 win at Anfield.Salah left the ground limping, while manager Jurgen Klopp condemned Choudhury’s tackle as “dangerous as hell” while urging the England Under-21 man to calm down. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Fortunately for Liverpool, initial scans show no significant injury beyond a twisted left ankle, with no ligament damage or fracture.Salah will continue to be monitored closely at Melwood this week, but Liverpool sources have told Goal that he could yet feature in the Reds’ next game, away at Manchester United on October 20.His recovery will be aided by the fact that he has already been excused from international duty with Egypt, having been given permission to miss his country’s friendly fixture against Botswana.Liverpool’s non-international players will be given time off this week, though all will follow specifically-tailored programmes during the international break. Salah, naturally, will be watched closely by the club’s medical staff.After the international break, Klopp hopes to have pretty much a full squad to choose from, with Alisson Becker and Xherdan Shaqiri set to return following calf injuries.Alisson was close to featuring against Leicester, but staff decided there was no need to risk the Brazilian, who has not played since suffering a torn muscle against Norwich in early August.Alisson, Liverpool trainingShaqiri, meanwhile, has made only a couple of substitute appearances and suffered a problem in training last month. The Switzerland man, though, should return to action in the next week, as should Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who was left out of the squad to face Leicester after being hit on the head in training on Friday.Young defender Adam Lewis, though, is facing around two months on the sidelines after suffering knee ligament damage. The left-back is on crutches after picking up the injury playing for the Reds’ U23 side against Arsenal last week. Initial scans show Lewis avoided an anterior cruciate ligament rupture, but the homegrown starlet will be given time to recover.He was on the bench for the first team for their Carabao Cup win over MK Dons recently, and would have been in contention to feature against Arsenal in the fourth round.On what became a perfect weekend for the Reds, Liverpool’s U23 side beat Wigan 3-2 on Sunday in the Premier League Cup. Captain Elijah Dixon-Bonner scored twice, while 16-year-old Tom Hill marked his debut at the level with what turned out to be the winning goal for Neil Critchley’s side. Joe Gelhardt, who is being monitored by Reds scouts, scored twice for Wigan.The U18s beat Everton 6-1 on Saturday, with Fidel O’Rourke, Layton Stewart, Jake Cain, Leighton Clarkson and Tyler Morton all on target for Barry Lewtas’ team.  Subscribe to Goal’s Liverpool Correspondent Neil Jones’ weekly email bringing you the best Liverpool FC writing from around the weblast_img read more