A second-half double from their leading scorer Samuel Eto'o sent Barcelona 14 points clear at the top of Spain's La Liga last night with a hard-fought victory over mid-table Getafe.
Frank Rijkaard's side were stunned by a fourth-minute opener from Nano, the former Barça winger given space by the defender Belletti to head past Victor Valdes. It was not like the Catalans were not warned of the potential dangers from Bernd Schuster's side.
"They are a group of players who you should never give too much room,'' Rijkaard said before the game. "We know what could happen and we need to make sure it doesn't.'' Unfortunately, his charges did not heed their master's voice.
But Barça responded to the early setback. In the 22nd minute the Frenchman Ludovic Guily headed a cross from Giovanni van Bronckhorst towards goal and the chest of the Getafe defender Anibal Matellan helped it into the net.
Eto'o gave Barça the lead on 52 minutes, his finish the culmination of a sublime exchange of passes involving Guily after a move initiated by Deco. Eto'o then sealed the win with his 22nd league goal of the campaign.
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Van Bronkhorst, Oleguer, Puyol (Rodri 83), Belletti (Iniestaht); Motta, Van Bommel (Sylvinho 60), Deco; Eto'o, Ronaldino, Giuly. Substitutes not used: Jorquera (gk), Maxi, Ezquerro, Gabri.
Getafe (4-5-1): Luis; Contra, Pernia, Rivas (Pachon 59), Cotelo; Pulido, Anival, Alberto, Vivar Dorado, Nano (Paredis 70); Paunovic. Substitutes not used: Calataud (gk), Cubillo, Riki, Redondo, Tena.
Referee: Alfonso Perez Burrull.
Attendance: 78,000.Reuse content