Friday, 27 May 2011

Two in, two out - so far

Transfer season has started early at the Coliseum this year, with four changes already having taken place before June begins.


Captain Manu del Moral has finally left Getafe after five years in Madrid, heading back to his native Andalucia with Sevilla. The fee is rumoured to be around €4.5m - a price more than fair for one whose contract was fast expiring. El capitán will be much-missed in the dressing room and by the fans, too, because even during moments of poor form his spirit and positive attitude never wavered.

Juan Ángel Albín is a trickier one. The young Uruguayan had sufficient talent to be linked with AC Milan last summer, but instead he finds himself as Espanyol. I had originally thought him out of contract, but in fact he had a year left and thus the Perequitos have had to shell out €3m for his services. That's a considerable sum for a player who, despite his natural abilities, never really came out of his shell at the Coliseum. For me this is a fine piece of business: even if he goes on to be the player we think he can be it's still best to cash in rather than take the risk. Juan leaves after spending, like Manu, five years in the blue shirt.


First to come is Mehdi Lacen. The France-born Algerian international has signed on for four years with Geta, bringing to an end three years with Racing Santander. The 27-year-old defensive midfielder has spent virtually his entire career in Spain, having previously served Alavés for three years.

His arrival signals - at least according to Marca - the end to Derek Boateng's time at the Coliseum. It is thought that club president Ángel Torres is ready to sell the Ghanaian to the highest bidder, most likely a member of the Premier League. That will be a massive blow for next season: Boateng was the most composed player in the squad by far and while Lacen is not a bad player his skills on the ball do not match those of the former AIK man.

Allegedly already signed is Diego Castro, an exciting winger-cum-forward last of Sporting Gijón. This one isn't 100% confirmed yet, but the Galician wide man will likely take up a position on the left flank, from which his specialty is to cut inside and score goals.

Still to come?

Long before Deportivo slumped towards relegation, much of their out-of-contract contingent had been linked with a switch to the capital. Chief among these was Alberto Lopo. The dependable centre-back would make a fine partner for either Mario or Cata Díaz and is thought to be inches away from officially signing on for Getafe.

In midfield Juan Rodríguez is another candidate for the central role currently occupied by Derek Boateng: , and while Rodríguez has plenty of experience and drive he lacks the class of the former AIK man. Anontio Tomás, Rodríguez's sometime-partner and often-understudy at the Riazor, is another player who could yet join Getafe from the Galicians. Seemingly we can never have too many defensive midfielders...

Also, sporting director Toni Múñoz has extended his deal, with coach Míchel's future hanging in the balance. Torres and Múñoz will meet to discuss the ex-Real Madrid man's future over the coming days.

Update: Míchel is gone, and Luis Enrique will not be taking over. Luis García of Levante is the front-runner.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Real Sociedad 1-1 Getafe: EL GETA NO BAJA!

0-1 Cata Díaz 9'
1-1 Paco Sutil 65'

Getafe avoid away defeat for the first time in six attempts...
... Cata Díaz's early header the highlight of a dull match - oh, and Getafe stay up...

A stalemate so dull it could have been scripted resulted in a 1-1 draw at Anoeta between Real Sociedad and Getafe, an outcome ensuring that both sides retain their Primera División status.

Deportivo La Coruña drop to the second level instead after a 2-0 home defeat to Valencia, while the Azulones also finish above Mallorca on head-to-head.

Heading into the game neither side was safe from relegation, but Real Sociedad were definitely the more secure of the two. That changed after just nine minutes when Cata Díaz headed home a Juan Ángel Albín free-kick to give the visitors the lead.

La Real were the better side afterwards, and although news had filtered through that both Deportivo and Mallorca were in deep trouble they pushed hard in search of an equaliser.

That came via the head of substitute Paco Sutil, who took advantage of Xabi Prieto's trademark dead-ball delivery to level the scores from close range.

From then on, it was a passing drill. Neither side saw the need to punish the other, nor risk anything by committing men forward, if both were safe. Thus scenes of Gijón 1982 followed as centre-backs passed to full-backs, and back around again.

At full-time Anoeta immediately erupted in celebration. Getafe, knowing how close these things can be, still had some waiting to do: both Mallorca and Deportivo were still playing. The second full-time sounded at San Moix, though, the Geta players rushed to the tiny visiting support - a rare show of unity after a dreadful six months - to celebrate yet another improbable survival.


And that ends the season. I'll be here over the summer bringing you the gossip and transfer news, but as far as competitive action goes, we have some time to wait. It's been a pleasure writing these reports - even amidst the worst moments - and I eagerly await another 38 of them next year as Getafe once more seek to prove that they are, quite simply, too big to go down.

Real Sociedad: Bravo; Carlos Martínez, Mikel González, Demidov, De la Bella; Diego Rivas (Elustondo 85), Aranburu; Xabi Prieto, Zurutuza (Paco Sutil 47), Griezmann (Bergara 69); Tamudo.

Ustari; Miguel Torres, Cata Díaz, Mario (Mané 46), Iván Marcano; Víctor Sánchez, Boateng; Pedro Ríos, Albín (Parejo 71), Manu del Moral (Casquero 82); Miku.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Getafe 2-0 Osasuna: Azulones keep it alive until the last day!

1-0 Miguel Flaño (o.g.) 64'
2-0 Pedro Ríos 90'

Nerviest of nervy encounters ends with a priceless victory for Getafe...
... It all comes down to the final day as Zaragoza managed a win and Deportivo drew...

Getafe's hopes of Primera División survival remain alive heading into matchday 38 after a gutsy but nerve-wracking home victory over Osasuna.

The hosts were the better side for the first half but were goalless until after the hour mark, after which the Pamplona outfit dominated and more than once should have hit the net. Only a late, late goal from Pedro Ríos guaranteed victory.

Getafe started brightly, with Ríos missing a sitter after just ten minutes, and veteran visiting goalie Ricardo having plenty to do.

Only a pair of attacking substitutions gave Getafe a bit of bite in the second period, and this paid off shortly after the hour mark as Dani Parejo played a fine ball across goal that Miguel Flaño could only turn into his own net under pressure from Adrián Colunga.

From there on in, though, it was all Osasuna. The Rojillos battered the Getafe goal as a pliant midfield let them assault the final third with ease, and only Oscar Ustari's best performance in a Geta shirt kept the hosts narrowly ahead as the home fans whistled for full-time.

In fact they were delighted midway through stoppage time as one of Getafe's abortive counter-attacks finally bore fruit. Dani Parejo was again involved as he slipped the killer pass for Pedro Ríos to strike home from a narrow angle.

The scenes of jubilation on the touchline and on the pitch were welcome, but all at the Coliseum are aware that this job isn't yet done. Manu del Moral threw his shirt into the crowd to commemorate what could well be his last home match for Getafe: next week's encounter at Real Sociedad will, however, determine his legacy.

State of play:
Getafe - 43 points
Deportivo - 43 points
Zaragoza - 42 points

Getafe have a superior head-to-head record against Deportivo.
Zaragoza have a superior head-to-head record against Deportivo.
Zaragoza have a superior head-to-head record against Getafe.

Getafe: Ustari; Víctor Sánchez, Cata Díaz, Mario, Marcano; Pedro Ríos, Boateng, Casquero (Parejo 58), Manu del Moral; Miku (Albín 58), Colunga (Borja 83).

Osasuna: Ricardo; Damiá (Soriano 78), Sergio, Miguel Flaño, Monreal (Lekic 88); Vadócz, Puñal, Nekounam (Pandiani 70); Álvaro Cejudo, Kike Sola, Camuñas.

Thursday, 12 May 2011

Real Madrid 4-0 Getafe: It all comes down to the wire

1-0 Cristiano Ronaldo 23'
2-0 Cristiano Ronaldo 57'
3-0 Benzema 76'
4-0 Cristiano Ronaldo 90'

Heavy defeat not unexpected, but no less damaging for that for Getafe...
... The relegation pack is ever more bunched together...

Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo strode further towards the European Golden Shoe with an excellent performance at home to Getafe. For the hosts the result was meaningless; the visitors, meanwhile, are plunged further into trouble at the foot of the Primera División.

The hosts took the lead in the 23rd minute with a fine header from Ronaldo after a beautiful Mesut Ozil cross.

Getafe threatened little and deservedly went behind by two just before the hour mark. Ronaldo was on target again, side-footed into an empty net after Osky Ustari could only parry Ozil's shot into the path of Gonzalo Higuain for the assist.

Karim Benzema was in on the act fifteen minutes from time, getting on the end of a Xabi Alonso through pass to control and shoot with precision after just moments on the pitch.

Finally Ronaldo wrapped up his hat-trick in stoppage time from the penalty spot after Mané brought down the ex-Manchester United man in the box.

The only bright spot of the matchday was Real Sociedad's win over Zaragoza, which keeps Getafe in with a chance of salvation. A win over Osasuna on Sunday is now a must.

Real Madrid: Adán (Mejías 83); Arbeloa, Pepe, Carvalho, Marcelo; Xabi Alonso, Lass Diarra; Di María, Özil (Adebayor 75), Cristiano Ronaldo; Higuaín (Benzema 75)

Ustari; Miguel Torres, Cata Díaz, Mario, Mané; Boateng, Casquero (Mosquera 63); Arizmendi, Parejo (Borja 70), Adrián Sardinero (Miku 46); Colunga.

Saturday, 7 May 2011

Getafe 2-0 Almería: Routine home win lifts Azulones from the dropzone

1-0 Colunga 5'
2-0 Pedro Ríos 53'

Almería no match for the Madrid side as Getafe pick up a vital three points with ease...
... Only downside on a successful day is that relegation rivals keep on picking up points...

It was a must-win game, and won it was. Getafe's 2-0 victory over Almería was never in doubt, and the capital club's hopes of survival remain alive, if only just.

Getafe welcomed Derek Boateng back to their ranks, with Miku joining Adrián Colunga up front in an attacking formation. Almería, seeking to avoid the seemingly inevitable relegation that awaits them, lined up in a 4-2-3-1, with Henok Goitom looking to add to his single league goal this season and the near-ever-present Albert Crusat set to provide most of the attacking threat down the left.

The hosts' jangled nerves were partially settled as the fifth minute as Colunga managed an all-too-rare goal. On the counter-attack, the on-form Pedro Ríos strode up the right flank before cutting the ball across goal to the unmarked striker, who side-footed with ease into an empty next.

Even was the rest of the first period, with neither side threatening overmuch but instead enjoying a succession of half-chances.

That all changed minutes into the second half when Getafe added a second. Again it came down the right flank, this time Víctor Sánchez breaking forward to cross for Adrián Sardinero. The youngster could only get a touch on it, but it was enough to direct the ball towards Pedro Ríos, who tapped in at the far post.

Getafe ran the game out in relative comfort, with only a shot from José Ulloa troubling the woodwork. However a knock to Pedro Ríos late on necessitated the introduction of Borja and also threw the winger into doubt for the midweek journey to Real Madrid.

Spirits will be high for that encounter - Getafe have won there in the past, after all - but the fact that the Azulones' relegation rivals just keep on winning and drawing is bound to be a source of concern. It is incumbent on Geta to pick up points wherever and whenever they can - starting with at the Santiago Bernabéu.

Getafe: Ustari; Miguel Torres, Cata Díaz, Marcano, Mané; Pedro Ríos (Borja 80), Boateng, Víctor Sánchez, Adrián Sardinero (Parejo 62); Miku (Arizmendi 73), Colunga.

Almería: Esteban; Míchel Macedo, Carlos García, Pellerano, Luna; Bernadello, Corona (José Ortiz 61); Juanma Ortiz, Kalu Uche (Ulloa 60), Crusat (Vargas 66); Goitom.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Villarreal 2-1 Getafe: Azulones can't hold their lead as disaster looms

0-1 Pedro Ríos 31'
1-1 Cani 60'
2-1 Rossi 74'

Tough trip to Madrigal ends much as expected - in defeat...
... Results elsewhere mean that the Madrid outfit could end the weekend in the bottom three...

Getafe surrendered a one-goal advantage against a Villarreal side well worth their win on the day to sink deeper into the relegation mire on a weekend that saw Zaragoza and Málaga gain the advantage in the race to avoid the drop.

After a largely even opening spell, Getafe took the lead on the half-hour mark. Pedro Ríos was the difference-maker, the ex-Xerez winger scoring a wonderful solo effort by skipping free of his marker and looping a superb shot into the top of the net from the edge of the area.

Despite this setback the hosts emerged for the second half looking far stronger, and duly took the lead - albeit in bizarre circumstances.

After Javier Casquero conceded a free-kick on the edge of the area, Getafe stood around talking amongst themselves while Santi Cazorla swiftly passed the set-piece to Cani, who in turn lashed a shot past the blameless Oscar Ustari.

Villarreal's dominance continued and it was no surprise when they took the lead shortly afterwards. Marco Rubén left Miguel Torres flat-footed and eventually flat on his back before clipping a short cross for Giuseppe Rossi. The Italian's diving header was strong and true and gave Villarreal the lead.

Javier Ariezmendi had already come on by this time, and Adrián Colunga was to join him as the visitors threw everything forward, but it was to no avail.

A positive result for Osasuna against Valencia in the later game will place Getafe in the dropzone. Regardless, the Azulones are in an extremely precarious position and must take three points from all-but-relegated Almería next weekend.

Villarreal: Diego López; Mario, Kiko (Marco Rubén 70), Musacchio, Capdevila; Cazorla (Wakaso 82), Borja Valero, Bruno, Cani (Catalá 77); Rossi, Nilmar.

Ustari; Miguel Torres, Cata Díaz, Marcano, Mané; Víctor Sánchez (Colunga 77), Casquero (Boateng 68); Pedro Ríos, Parejo, Adrián Sardinero (Arizmendi 73); Miku.