BARCELONA, SPAIN - MARCH 08: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona (C) celebrates with his teammates after scoring his second goal during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg match between Barcelona and Arsenal at the Camp Nou stadium on March 8, 2011 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

La Liga: Goals From Dani Alves And Bojan Secure Victory for Barcelona Against Getafe

Can Barcelona overcome numerous injuries and the devastating news about Eric Abidal to beat Getafe at the Camp Nou? Can Real Madrid maintain their remarkable derby success with another victory against their city rivals? All the answers during La Liga Matchday 29.

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Barcelona Vs Getafe: FULL-TIME Barcelona Secure Victory Against Poor Getafe

After a turbulent week away from the pitch, Barcelona ended the week on a high with a routine victory against a limited Getafe side who worked tremendously hard, but just couldnt find a route to the Barca goal. Instead, Cata Diaz and Marcano bombarded from start to finish with wave after wave of attacks from the home side.

Teams simply don’t have an answer when it comes to stemming the flow of the ball from the feet of Xavi and Iniesta, and when Lionel Messi is in this mood there isnt a defender on this planet who can stop him. The only thing missing from the Argentines performance was a goal, as he twisted and turned the Getafe defence inside out, with a showing that will put an end to those who had commented his influence had waned in recent weeks.

With three defenders missing, the back four made up of Alves, Pique, Milito and Adriano were rarely tested as Arizmendi toiled to no effect. There will be a few things that will have worried Pep Guardiola ahead of what will be a hectic run in to the season. David Villa is still struggling infront of goal, with another hesitant performance when presented with scorable opportunites, while Barca are still not as effective as they have been in recent months with regard to finishing off moves.

Dani Alves opened the scoring with a superb strike from outside the area in the first half, while Bojan added the decisive second just after half-time. Manu del Moral snatched a late consolation for Getafe, which set up a frantic final few minutes for the home side, but they held on for victory.

So Barca have added extra pressure on Real Madrid ahead of their derby day match against Atletico Madrid. Jose Mourinho, Cristiano and company….it’s over to you.

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Barcelona Vs Getafe: Bojan Adds The Second For Barca

Second half much the same as the first, with Barcelona controlling possession and Getafe struggling badly to get out of their half. Bojan has added a second goal following good work from Lionel Messi who dribbled across the area before laying the ball off to the young striker, who cut inside and let fly, the ball taking a cruel deflection which wrong-footed Codina. No-one can really expect Getafe to score two here, so that’s surely game over.

And there has been another bad decision from Muñoz Fernandez, who has turned down yet another penalty for Barcelona, this time Lionel Messi on the wrong end of a bad decision from the ref. Needless to say Pep Guardiola isn’t too impressed on the touchline. Bojan has been taken off after his goal, to warm applause from the home crowd who recognise the solid shift completed by the youngster.

In the absence of Puyol and Abidal, it has to be said Gabby Milito has slotted into the back four with minmal fuss, a massive boost to Guardiola, who is struggling for centre-backs at the moment.

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Barcelona Vs Getafe: HALF-TIME: Barca Go Into The Break 1-0 Up

This match has been all Barcelona so far, although you cannot take anything away from the Getafe players who have worked their socks off in defence. With Lionel Messi back to his best and Xavi and Iniesta pulling the strings in midfield, Barcelona have launched attack after attack, with only their finishing letting them down. One player whose finishing certainly didn’t let him down was Dani Alves, with the full-back scoring the only goal of the game so far with a sweetly struck half-volley from just outside the area.

There have been quite a few talking points from that first 45 minutes, most relating to the refereeing decisions from the ever-controversial Muñoz Fernandez. There have been three big penalty decisions for him to deal with, all in the Getafe area. The first tackle on David Villa and the third on Bojan both looked suspiciously like penalties, with Villas second shout earning him a yellow card for diving. It was harsh on the striker, who still looks a little short of confidence infront of goal.

For Getafe they need to find an escape route out of their half, with Arizmendi not getting much change out of Pique and Milito. Michel has Miku and Pedro Rios to help shake things up in attack and surely both will be given a run out. 1-0 is a dangerous scoreline and as long as it remains like this, Getafe will feel like they have a chance of nicking a goal. For Barca it’s a case of sticking away that all important second goal.

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Barcelona Vs Getafe: Dani Alves Stunner Puts Barca Ahead

Barcelona have edged themselves infront with an absolute crackerjack of a strike from Dani Alves. With the full-back currently in talks with the club over a new contract, there is surely no better time to remind his employers of his stunning ability. After yet another Barca attack was repelled by the Getafe defence, the ball looped up into the air just outside the Getafe box and in came Dani Alves like a steam train to smack the ball on the half volley, sending the leather flying past Codina and into the net.

Barcelona have been absolutely dominating this match, no doubt spurred on by the events midweek. Leo Messi is back to his mesmerising best, turning Getafe defenders inside out, with one run almost leading to a goal, with a off-form David Villa firing over from two metres out and the goal at his mercy. The striker has also had two penalty decisions go against him, the first a reasonable shout, although an exagerrated dive on the second earned him a yellow card. Getafe are yet to be seen as an attacking force.

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La Liga: Barcelona Host Getafe Before Real Madrid Face Atletico In The Madrid Derby

Barcelona Vs Getafe (8pm CET)

What a week it has been for Barcelona Football Club. With rumours floating around about the players having experimented with performance enhancing drugs and a  'random' visit from the UEFA Doping Agency, they were then hit with the devastating news that Eric Abidal had been diagnosed with a tumour in his liver. Yet, Pep Guardiola will need to get his players up for this one if they want to arrive at the Bernabeu with their five point lead intact in April as Getafe arrive at the Camp Nou in no mood to roll over for their illustrious hosts.

Carlos Puyol remains sidelined with injury and he has been joined by Pedro, Maxwell and of course Abidal, which means Gabby Milito and Adriano will slot into the back four and Mascherano joins Xavi and Iniesta in midfield, with Sergio Busquets being given a rest. Bojan will be rewarded for his goal at Sevilla with a rare start. Getafe also have injury problems of their own, with Rafa and Gavilan both ruled out for the season, while the game has come too soon for keeper Ustari, Mario, Mané and Colunga. Their midfield powerhouse Derek Boateng will also be missing through suspension, so Michel has a lot of work on his hand to patch a team together for the most difficult away fixture in Spanish football.

One man who will be on the pitch come 8pm is Lionel Messi, a player that seems to relish facing Getafe, the team he scored that Maradona-esque goal against on April 18 2007. Barcelona have won the last four meetings between the two sides, while Getafe will look to the class of 2009 for inspiration as that season they managed a 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture.

TEAMS:

Barcelona: Valdés; Alves, Piqué, Milito, Adriano; Mascherano, Xavi, Iniesta; Villa, Messi and Bojan

Getafe: Codina; Miguel Torres, Marcano, Cata, Víctor Sánchez; Borja, Manu, Parejo, Casquero; Albín and Arizmendi

 

Atletico Madrid Vs Real Madrid

How Atletico Madrid would love to end Real Madrids hopes of toppling Barcelona at the top of La Liga! Well they'll have the chance tonight at the Vicente Calderon as Real Madrid hop across to the shores of the River Manzanares in what is the start of a serious set of away fixtures for Mourinhos men. With desparate draws away at Depor and Almeria, Mourinho knows full well that any more dropped points and they can kiss goodbye to their chances of landing the La Liga title.

For Atletico Madrid, the chance of ending Real Madrids league hopes is about as it's going to get this season as they have been knocked out of all the cup competitions and struggle to jump up the the Europa League positions in the table. In Diego Forlan and especially Sergio Agüero they have two strikers that are a match for any defence in world football. Raul Garcia and Assuncao are expected to start on the bench which means starts for new signing Elias and Mario Suarez in midfield, while Alvaro Domingues keeps his place in the starting XI having sorted out his differences with manager Quique Sanchez Flores.

For Real Madrid and Jose Mourinho the match comes straight off the back of a successful yet draining Champions League tie against Lyon. Cristiano Ronaldo will no doubt be eager to start having made a return against the French, although Mourinho is expected to give rests to Sami Khedira and man of the moment Karim Benzema, with Lass Diarra and Emmanuel Adebayor coming in. But with nine goals in his last six matches, Benzema will be desparate to get some game time to continue his stunning run of form.

There is no room for error for Real Madrid, but having not lost a derby in ten years Mourinho and his men will be confident of travelling back across the capital come midnight will three points in the bag.

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