Barcelona defender Gerard Pique demanded unity on and off the pitch after his side finally banished their away day demons with a 2-0 win at Getafe.
Goals from Luis Suarez and Junior Firpo ended a run of eight games without a win on their travels – and eased the pain in the wake of Barca’s worst La Liga start in 25 years.
Speaking to Spanish media, Pique said: “We need to be together – and when I say together, I mean the fans and the board too.
“We’re hoping that nobody tries to provoke battles that aren’t there, and which we don’t want. We need to keep the club united.”
Victory brought under-pressure Ernesto Valverde his second straight win after they ended their dismal run with a midweek triumph over Villarreal.
And Valverde admitted he was relieved to earn three points away from home for the first time this season.
Valverde told a press conference: “I think after recent results away from home we needed to win.
“It was a good away trip because we were asked a lot of questions and it was a tough game. I think we played well, we had chances and we were really solid.”
Meanwhile Valverde admitted there was some doubt over whether Ousmane Dembele will be ready for the midweek Champions League clash with Inter Milan.
Valverde said Dembele was left out of his line-up for Getafe as a precautionary measure after discussions with the forward.
Valverde added: “It was more of a precaution – he’s told me that he’s calm. We think it’s a little nuisance, but nothing serious.”
Ernesto Valverde was a relieved man as Barcelona ended their wait for an away win in La Liga with a hard-fought 2-0 win at Getafe.
Their first victory away from home since April was a vital one ahead of the derby between Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid later on Saturday night.
“This match was crucial for us to rid ourselves of the sensation of never being able to win away,” said Valverde.
“We knew that we were going to play at a very demanding ground in hot conditions, on a pitch where the ball doesn’t zip much and against a tough opponent that stops you from playing.
“We didn’t play well in the first half but once we took the lead they basically didn’t have any chances.”
A remarkable counter-attack goal launched by Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and finished off by Luis Suarez put Barca on their way four minutes before the break, and Junior’s tap-in shortly after the restart made sure of the three points.
Ter Stegen is embroiled in a row with Bayern Munich captain Manuel Neuer over the Barca stopper’s lack of opportunities with the Germany team.
However he showed his class when he raced out of his goal to stop a Getafe attack before launching a pin-point pass over the home side’s dozing defence to Suarez, who calmly lobbed the opener over David Soria.
“Sometimes when passes come off like this the goalkeeper is just clearing the ball. I don’t know if that is the case here, but regardless he brings us a lot,” added Valverde.
The win was Barca’s second in a week as they attempt to recover from an miserable start that led to questions surrounding Valverde’s future.
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