Barcelona posted one of their most disciplined performances of the season by keeping a clean sheet in a 2-0 win on the road against Getafe.
Barca struggled to conjure up chances before Marc-Andre ter Stegen lofted the ball over everyone and into the path of Luis Suarez, who guided the ball over David Soria in the 41st minute.
After the break Carles Perez stung the hands of Soria, who could only palm into the path of Junior Firpo before the left-back found the net.
Barca held the fort – despite Clement Lenglet’s sending off the in the final 10 minutes – to clinch the three points. Here are our ratings …
Marc-Andre ter Stegen – There is very little the German can do wrong at the moment. Key save was swiftly followed by his pinpoint assist to Suarez after sweeping up a dangerous long ball from Getafe. 9
Sergi Roberto – Did his part to lock down and squeeze Getafe when the hosts tried to get back into the game. Not the most adventurous going forward, but he was the perfect man for this particular job. 6
Clement Lenglet – Needlessly put his side under pressure – not only in this game but the next one against Sevilla, with Samuel Umtiti also out. It’s time for Jean-Clair Todibo to impress. 6
Gerard Pique – Put in a few heroic last-ditch tackles and kept his head where Lenglet lost his – a gritty performance that is always welcome on the road. 7
Junior Firpo – Great awareness to follow up the spilled shot and double Barcelona’s lead. However, the former Real Betis is too often out of sync with the rest of the attack, and has a tendency to give away needless fouls. 6
Frenkie De Jong – Had to put in a shift at centre-back for the remaining 10 minutes after Lenglet was given his marching orders. Close to threading th eye of the needle for Suarez at times, did well in congested midfield due to Barcelona’s lack of width. 7
Sergio Busquets – When Busquets came off for Rakitic, Barca lost much of their shape and Getafe could easily have pulled one back. 7
Arthur – Beat his man with a dribble an impressive five times but there was not enough dynamism in front of him to take full advantage, which is no fault of his own. 8
Carles Perez – Youthful exuberance is turning into sustained class. Perez outshone Griezmann on the opposite flank – and Barca haven’t had to spend a penny on him 7
Luis Suarez – Not at his most clinical, but without his endeavour and tirelessness up front, Barca would have found it even more difficult to break Getafe down 7
Antoine Griezmann – More mystery than maestro so far at Barca – and not in a good way. This was another anonymous appearance. If the worry was that he’d not exert as much influence playing alongside Lionel Messi, what’s his excuse while the Argentine is injured? 4
Nelson Semedo – Roberto was preferred today and a clean sheet justified the selection. Replaced Griezmann for the last 15 minutes. 6
Ivan Rakitic – Entered the fray for the final 10 but could not exert as much control as Busquets, as Getafe probed. 5
Jean-Clair Todibo – On for Perez to see the game out for the last few minutes. N/A
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde expressed his frustrations over repeated questions concerning to Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar.
The Brazilian was linked to a return to the Catalan club all summer but the move failed to materialise. However, Neymar’s name has continued to pop up in press conferences due to his pending court case with the club over a contractual situation.
Valverde admitted he was frustrated with all the questioning and maintained that he wants to keep the Brazilian’s name out of his pressers.
“This is the never-ending story. We spent the whole of August waiting until the last day of the month for the end of the transfer market. But it goes on and on. But I have nothing to say about Neymar,” he said.
“This is an internal issue between the club and the player because of a contractual situation. This is beyond my reach. I think that so far this season there hasn’t been a single press conference during which we haven’t talked about Neymar. Let’s see if we can achieve that. Not to talk about him. I think we will.”
Hear more from the Barca boss in the clip above
Brazil great and former Barcelona striker Rivaldo feels that the Spanish giants must be patient with Lionel Messi’s injuries.
The Argentine star missed a month’s worth action due to a calf injury at the beginning of the season and was taken off in Barcelona’s tie against Villarreal due to a fresh injury.
Messi is expected to be out for about 10 days due to a thigh injury. But Rivaldo believes he must not be rushed back.
“As the Argentinian returns from injury, the club need to be careful about not rushing him back,” Rivaldo wrote in his column for Betfair.
“He’s 32 years old and has been playing at the highest level for a while without any rest, so it’s normal to see him starting to feel some pain at times.
“The club needs to let him fully recover so that he doesn’t suffer a recurrence of his injuries right after returning to the team. It doesn’t matter if he misses two, three weeks or a month. When I was in my early-thirties, I thought I would never get injured, or feel pain, but it wasn’t the truth and those kinds of problems started to come.
“Being 32 is not the same as being 25, so you need to manage your fitness better.
“I don’t see this as a sign of decline in Messi, though, as he will come back and have a few more years at the highest level.”