Friday, 23 April 2021 08:34

Staff Reporter.

Lionel Messi scored twice as Bracelona crushed Getafe 5-2 on Thursday to stay in the hunt for the La Liga title.

Messi broke the deadlock before lowly Getafe equalised through Clement Lenglet's own goal.

A mix-up between Sofian Chakla and keeper David Soria restored Barca's lead and Messi made it 3-1. Enes Unal's penalty gave Getafe hope but goals by Ronald Araujo and Antoine Griezmann sealed the points.

The win took Barca back up to third place on 68 points, five behind leaders Atletico Madrid but with a game in hand.

"It was a very strange game but the team knew how to get the job done and win which is the important thing," said Araujo. "We suffered a little bit in the second half, we could have been more comfortable. Every game we have left is like a final and every team will give everything."

Earlier in the day, Barca issued a statement about signing up to the European Super League, stating it was a "historic opportunity" to guarantee football's financial sustainability.

On the pitch, Ronald Koeman's side turned on the style in an incident-packed first half which saw Messi hit the bar and the post for the 2021 Copa del Rey winners.

However, they struggled after half-time and lived dangerously until late goals by substitute Araujo and Griezmann, from the penalty spot, secured the win.

Getafe gave Ronald Koeman's side a guard of honour for their recent Copa del Rey triumph but the visitors also wore T-shirts saying "Earn It", criticising Barcelona's decision to sign up to the breakaway European Super League.

"The news had a big impact on me, any clubs want to compete in Europe and we want to earn it on the pitch," said Getafe's Angel Rodriguez.

"We're a humble club who played in the Europa League so obviously I'm totally against it."

After the match, Koeman said: "It's true difficult moments [in the] second half. I think good result in the end. Very good first half, team very focused, a lot of chances, played well.

"[Our] rhythm on the ball was slower, it complicates things with the 3-2 and it's unnecessary. But another show that when we dip, things can become concentrated."