Ernesto Valverde had insisted that the only way for Barça to pick themselves up after the bitter disappointment of Champions League exit was to go out and win against Getafe and get things back in swing in time for the Copa del Rey Final.
And that’s just what the team did, beating a side that was in much more urgent need of the points to put a smile back on the faces of the fans that had turned out to see their heroes in action at the Camp Nou for the last time until after the summer.
Chasing Champions League qualification for the first ever time, Getafe got off to a sprightly start, with Jorge Molina causing all kinds of trouble and even finding the net only to have the goal ruled out for offside.
When news came through that qualification rivals Valencia were winning their own game, one may have expected even greater urgency in the Getafe game, but as the game progressed, they were getting less and less of the ball … to the extent that Barça would enjoy just shy of 80% of the possession and David Soria was very much the busier of the two goalkeepers.
Malcom had a couple of fine opportunities either side of the break, but it was Arturo Vidal, as battling as ever, who secured the lead – pouncing onto a rebounded free kick to stoke home on 39 minutes.
With 19-year-old Barça B striker Abel Ruiz coming on for his official debut (the seventh member of the reserve team to do so this term), the second half saw plenty more Barça domination, although Getafe very nearly grabbed a late equaliser when Molina headed onto the post.
With the disappointment of Anfield still fresh in the memory and this game being a mere formality with the Liga title already secured, there was a strangely tepid atmosphere at times in the Camp Nou, but a healthy dosage of Leo Messi magic soon got the crowd more animated and they even got to see the Argentinian claim a late second for the home side…
…Or at least that seemed to be the case. Replays showed that was in fact Getafe defender Djene Dakonam who had turned the ball into his own net.
Even so, with a four-goal lead on Kylian Mbappé, Messi is still well on course to collect his sixth Golden Shoe.
So, there’s one more league game away to Eibar next week and then it’s off to Sevilleand the chance to not only secure the double, but also to win the Copa del Rey for a record fifth year in a row! Força Barça!