Getafe 0-2 Barcelona: Luis Suarez and Neymar on target in away win
Last Updated: 31/10/15 10:09pm
Barcelona produced a professional if not sensational performance to win 2-0 at Getafe and keep pace with Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.
The Catalans were frustrated by a tight Getafe defence for most of the first half but they found their way through on 38 minutes when Luis Suarez scored from close range following a stylish back heel by Sergi Roberto.
The Catalan midfielder also engineered Barca's second goal, a volley from Neymar on 58 minutes that ensured Luis Enrique's side left Madrid with the three points.
Although Barca failed to produce a top-class performance, they were always in control and a win was no more than they needed following their disappointing goalless draw against Villanovense in the Copa del Rey in mid-week, and it sees them move on to 24 points, level with Madrid at the league's summit.
With Javier Mascherano suspended for the red card he received for his foul-mouthed outburst in the 3-1 win over Eibar, Jeremy Mathieu stepped in to partner Gerard Pique in central defence, while Sergi Roberto returned from injury to take his place in midfield.
Andres Iniesta was named in the squad after recovering from a torn hamstring but started on the bench - although he would make his comeback later in the half - while Munir El Haddadi was named ahead of Sandro Ramirez in the front three, due to the continued absence of talisman Lionel Messi.
The Catalans could only get a goalless draw from their visit to Getafe last season and they also struggled to get going here, with Fran Escriba's side just doing enough to limit their opponents' opportunities.
However, Munir came within inches to giving Barca the lead inside the first minute, conjuring up a scissor kick to connect with Neymar's cross, but his volley landed just the wrong side of the near post.
The visitors were given a real scare when Victor Rodriguez skipped past Dani Alves on the left and crossed towards Stefan Scepovic, who, although he had plenty of space around him, failed to strike the ball cleanly and his shot went a couple of feet wide of the post.
Damian Suarez tried to catch Claudio Bravo off his line by going for goal from inside his half, but the Uruguayan defender could not get enough power on the effort, and the Chilean was able to race back and pluck the ball from the sky.
Barcelona managed to break the deadlock eight minutes before the break thanks to the pace of Neymar, the ingenuity of Sergi Roberto and the serenity of Suarez.
Neymar attacked from the left of the box and passed to Roberto, whose sublime flick split the defence and laid the ball into the path of his Uruguayan team-mate, who calmly rounded Vicente Guaita to nudge home into the near corner.
The goal calmed Barca's nerves but failed to open up Getafe, and it took a lightning quick counter-attack goal to break them down again.
Claudio Bravo caught a cross from the right hand side and quickly threw the ball out to Sergi Roberto, in a right back position.
The midfielder marauded forward unopposed and when he caught sight of the Getafe area floated a pass up towards Neymar, who caught it on the volley and sent the ball bouncing into the near corner.
Munir and Neymar both had goals correctly ruled offside later in the half, while Jordi Alba had Barcelona's best chance to score again, but was denied by a brave save by his former Valencia team-mate Guaita.