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Barcelona stumble at home to Getafe

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Saturday, Spanish Football's Barcelona drew their home La Liga match against relegation-threatened Getafe CF 2-2, at the Camp Nou.

Having no control over their ultimate domestic tournament future, save win their games and hope others stumble, the Catalans were playing the type of game they seemed unable to muster just a few weeks ago in Copa del Rey, La Liga and Champions League games. Much more determined if not as dominant as in past seasons.

Messi opened the score at the 23rd minute on a center of the box shot off a Dani Alves assist. But at the 36th Angel Lafita's shot from the right side of the box to the lower left of Jose Pinto's goal tied the game.

The teams went into the locker room tied at halftime. But one got the impression that Barca's possession advantage was more purposeful and that the chances they were constructing would bear fruit sooner or later. Getafe, for their part, were playing well and deserved the tie if not more at the half,

But the second half saw an interesting thing emerge, both a more determined Barca but a Getafe that was holding its own if creating less opportunities than their hosts. Barcelona struck first, at the 67th minute when Alexis Sanchez found himself with the ball inside the center of the box and with a left footed shot to the right side of the goal, he scored to put Barcelona in the lead.

Interestingly, Getafe kept playing composed football and it was Barcelona who seemed the more unnerved despite their lead.

Barca coach, Tata Martino, out of his other two contests was playing this one as if it mattered and began substituting defenders for attackers half way through the second half. But the rhythm that had been building in the first half simply did not reach the critical mass necessary for the team to reach its potential. Sanchez's goal seemed almost out of place despite being a reward for consistent attacking.

It was Barca's defense that seemed shaky and the substitutions for a greater lead seemed the wrong medicine.

As the half reached stoppage time, the result seemed anything but settled and then Jaime Gavilan took the long time he had on the left wing to spot and serve Lafita, who together with three other teammates was open in the Barca box. The ball reached him perfectly and the midfielder headed the ball to Pinto's left for the easy score and the tie at the 91:26 minute.

The tie did not settles things for either team as Getafe is still battling to stave off relegation while Barca can only hope that both Madrid teams stumble badly with their Sunday games and the next two to follow. It seems more likely, though, that Atletico Madrid, in their current form, will be celebrating their La Liga championship triumph shortly.

Meanwhile Bilbao celebrated their assured place in next year's Champions League with a 3-0 win over Rayo Vallecano.

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