At halftime on Saturday night the Catalans were left frustrated after Getafe’s stern resistance meant that the opening forty-five minutes yielded no goals.
After a gruelling international schedule, Guardiola looked to give as many of his stars as long a rest as possible, starting Messi on the substitute’s bench along with Dani Alves, Thierry Henry and a fit again Iniesta, while youngsters Jeffren and Pedro Rodriguez were given a chance to shine. But after goallessÂ 57 minutes Guardiola threw on Leo Messi, and pocket-dynamo’s impact was almost instant.
Messi needed just six minutes to help Barca break the deadlock, the Argentine working the space for Eric Abidal down the left, and the Frenchman’s low cross took was converted by Zlatan Ibrahimovich. Fifteen minutes later Messi made it 2-nil with a header following a neat cross from his Swedish strike-partner, and what had promised to be a complicated game for Barcelona turned out to be a comfortable win.
Individual match highlights of Leo Messi’s performance against Getafe can be seen here.
Saturday also saw Barcelona hand a debut to new Ukraianian centre-half Dmytro Chygrynskiy, who was signed from Shakhtar Donetsk just before the close of the transfer window. The defender was thrown straight into the starting line-up against Getafe alongside Gerald Pique at the heart of Guardiola’s defence, and happily the newbie put in a commanding performance.
Chygrynskiy showed off his passing skills pinging several accurate long balls upfield, as well as even chipped in with some fine attacking play as the defender comfortable strode out of defence with possession on a couple of ocassions.
Individual match highlights of Dmytro Chygrynskiy’s debut against Getafe can be seen here.