Barcelona’s Antoine Griezmann (left) kicks the ball during their Spanish League match against Getafe CF on Saturday. Agence France-Presse
A slick Antoine Griezmann strike set Barcelona on their way against Getafe in La Liga on Saturday before they survived a late onslaught from the gritty visitors to win 2-1.
The result leaves Barcelona trailing on goal-difference atop La Liga before leaders Real Madrid’s Sunday home game with Celta Vigo.
In a physically engaging game, Barca star Jordi Alba limped off in the first half.
Alba, the club tweeted after the game, “is suffering from a right adductor muscle injury and will be undergoing further tests.”
The Catalan giants have a Champions League last-16 game away to Napoli on Tuesday.
Barcelona forwards Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele are both out with long-term injuries.
Fed by a masterful through ball from Lionel Messi, Griezmann’s finish was perfect as he clipped the ball over onrushing goalkeeper David Soria on 33 minutes.
Sergi Roberto then doubled the scores six minutes later, firing into the bottom corner from a cross by Alba’s replacement Junior Firpo.
But a late rally from Getafe, third in La Liga after four straight wins without conceding a goal, gave Barca a scare.
Getafe, playing in their dayglo yellow away strip, often silenced the 80,409 fans at the Camp Nou.
Their direct approach yielded a goal when Angel Rodriguez scored with a powerful volley on 66 minutes.
Rodriguez came within an inch of pulling Getafe level on 73 minutes sparking a goalmouth scramble. Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen scooped the ball off the line.
Barcelona clung on before Griezmann and Messi both went close with late efforts.
Allan Nyom thought he had put Getafe ahead on 25 minutes when he banged home a rebound. A VAR review, however, judged he had fouled Samuel Umtiti.
Mallorca climbed out of the relegations places as Cucho Hernandez scored the goal in a 1-0 home victory over Alaves.
Meanwhile, the La Liga derby in Eibar on Sunday has been called off because of poor air quality following a landslide into a nearby rubbish dump.
Basque rivals Real Sociedad were due to make the short journey to Eibar, an industrial town in a narrow valley, for a 1500 local time kick-off.
The Basque regional health department had recommended that sports be avoided in the area after a rockslide on 6 February into the Zaldibar rubbish dump, about eight kilometres from Eibar’s Ipurua stadium.
Real Sociedad released a brief statement saying that at the request of La Liga and the Spanish football federation the two clubs had “complied with the decision not to go ahead with the match that both teams were due to play at Ipurua tomorrow”.
Two employees of the company which manages the site are still missing.
The clubs did not announce a new date for the derby between the only two clubs from the province of the Guipuzcoa in the top divisionin the Laegue.
Earlier, Atletico Madrid were twice pegged back in Friday’s 2-2 draw at Valencia to keep Diego Simeone’s side in fourth in La Liga ahead of Liverpool’s visit next week.
Atletico host the runaway Premier League leaders at the Wanda Metropolitano in the Champions League last 16 first leg on Tuesday.
Twenty four hours later Valencia are in Italy to take on Atalanta in Milan.
Atletico’s Real Madrid recruit Marcos Llorente right-footed the visitors’ into an early lead before a close range header from Gabriel Paulista got Valencia back level five minutes before the break.
Three minutes later Ghanaian midfielder Thomas Partey had Atletico back in front only for Geoffrey Kondogbia to earn Valencia a share of the points off a set piece after the restart.
This was Atletico’s 10th stalemate of the season and it left them on 40 points, with Valencia in sixth, two points adrift.
“We’re on the right path. It was an important match with lots of goal-scoring chances for both sides,” commented Simeone,
La Liga conveniently brought the game forward to Friday with their Champions League opponents both playing league matches on Saturday.