Barcelona slump to first league defeat under Ronald Koeman

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In a story that can best be described as a tale of missed chances, Barcelona surprising slumped to their first defeat of the 2020–21 La Liga season under new manager Ronald Koeman, after a 56th-minute penalty scored by Jaime Mata ensured all three points for Getafe.

The visitors who had previously been 12-time winners at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez began the late-night La Liga kick-off on Saturday with a flurry registering the best-attacking move of the half after Leo Messi was denied by the woodwork and Antoine saw his one v one effort fly sky high over the crossbar.

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New signings Sergino Dest and Pedri made a brilliant showing in the first half proving why Barcelona and shelled out the cash to ensure their respective signatures. Pedri was particularly impressive in finding spaces down the middle of the Getafe defence linking well with teammates with only the final ball missing while Dest had shown that his training at FC Ajax made him a perfect fit for the Barcelona style of play.

However, in a momentary lapse of concentration, Barcelona was made to pay for those missed chances when referee Cesar Soto Grado awarded Getafe a penalty in the 54th minute of play after Frenkie De Jong brought down Djené in the visitors' box. Stepping up to the penalty spot, Jaime Mata cooly place his shot low, past second choice goalkeeper Neto Mura to give the home team the lead.

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Resolute in defense whilst creating chances of their own, the home team went on to absorb all pressure from Barcelona whilst on two occasions nearly adding a second goal of their own. Late introductions for Ansu Fati, Philipe Coutinho, Riqui Puig were not enough to secure any points for Barcelona on the night as the home team held on for a well-fought victory.

This would be Barcelona’s first defeat under new manager Ronald Koeman who took the reins at the club after that shambolic 8–2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the UEFA champions league. The club itself had suffered internal turmoil with star striker Leo Messi making known his intention to depart the club in the summer, stating the lack of any decisive project at the club before ultimately staying on for the 2020 season.

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Whilst embattled club president Jose Maria Bartomeu continues to face a vote of no confidence from the club socios, many had written Barcelona off as having any meaningful impact this season. Emphatic wins against Villareal and Celta Vigo where enough to put a pep back in the step of Barca fans, however, a draw against Sevilla and subsequent loss against Getafe would surely remind fans of the turbulent summer and couldn't come at the worst time as Champions League football and El-Classico loom on the horizon.

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©️ Amaka Obi.

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