Sunday, 29 January 2012

Levante 1-2 Getafe: Dani Güiza makes the difference in Valencia

0-1 Güiza 31'
0-2 Diego Castro 79'

Lucky Getafe make their chances count against wasteful Levante...
... Third win in the last six propels the Azulones well into the top half ...

Getafe rode their luck but left Valencia with all three points, stretching their current unbeaten run to six games. The Granotas passed up a host of excellent chances in both halves and were twice punished by Getafe's quickfire attacks through the middle, rendering Levante's Champions League challenge increasingly fragile.

The hosts, still hoping for an unlikely Champions League place, started with their tails up - perhaps with something to prove to ex-coach Luis García, who now sits in the Getafe dugout. Pedro Botelho was especially impressive, cutting in from the left to both provide Arouna Koné and try his own luck, but with no end product. Meanwhile the visitors were largely penned back.

Despite their lack of chances, Getafe took the lead in the 31st minute. A superb ball over the top from Javier Casquero found Dani Güiza, who atoned for his poor performance last week with a goal halfway between sublime and ridiculous. His control to bring down the long pass was beautifully reminiscent of Dennis Bergkamp's strike against Argentina at the 1998 World Cup; his shot straight at Gustavo Munúa somewhat less so. But the ball deflected off the Uruguayan 'keeper, hit Güiza in the shins, and rolled goalwards for the opener.

Nonetheless Levante continued to dominate heading into the break and beyond. Ten minutes after the restart Arouna Koné, teed up by Sergio Ballesteros, so nearly scored with an overhead kick from close range, but his effort was fortunately bound for the woodwork.

Yet the day went Getafe's way when eight minutes from time substitute Diego Castro pounced on a loose ball at the edge of the area to score into an empty net. The chance began when once again Levante's high line was punished by a pass over the top for Dani Güiza, who once again prompted the deflection that led to the goal.

Getafe were left nervous in the final minute as Alberto Lopo saw red for a handball in the box, Rubén Suárez dispatching the resulting penalty.

But it was too little too late for the hosts. Getafe, despite holding less of the ball and having fewer chances, left with another priceless victory, cementing their place in the top half ahead of the visit of Real Madrid on Saturday evening - a match they will contest without both Lopo and the injured Rafa, leading to difficulties in the centre of defence.

Levante: Munúa; Javi Venta, Ballesteroes, Del Horno, Juanfran; Xavi Torres (Iborra 82), Farinós; El Zhar (Rafa Jordá 79), Rubén Suárez, Botelho (Óscar Serrano 69); Koné.

Getafe: Moyà; Valera, Lopo, Cata Díaz, Masilela; Abdel Barrada, Juan Rodríguez, Casquero (Lacen 70), Gavilán (Diego Castro 59); Dani Güiza (Miguel Torres 84), Miku.
Red card: Lopo 90' (handball)

Saturday, 21 January 2012

Racing Santander 1-2 Getafe: Comeback victory gives Getafe breathing space

1-0 Stuani 13'
1-1 Gavilán 25'
1-2 Miku 83'

Despite early stumbles, Getafe fight back to secure a deserved victory...
... Mistakes from both sides prevented further goals ...

Getafe showed character to fight back for victory from a goal down at Racing Santander, but coach Luis García will be all too aware that on another day the visitors' profligacy may have been punished.

Nonetheless the Azulones did recover from a poor start to secure a vital three points, giving them respite from a tight relegation race and also ensuring that Geta have taken an impressive 11 points from the last 15.

Racing took a deserved lead in the 13th minute when Rafa inexplicably played a fast pass across his own goalmouth, where former Geta man Adrián González was waiting to play it to Christian Stuani for an easy finish. Rafa was withdrawn through injury shortly afterwards in what will surely rank as the stopper's worst day of his career.

Five minutes later Getafe should have levelled. Abdel Barrada sprung a world-class through ball to Dani Güiza, but when faced one-on-one with Toño Rodríguez he ran the ball straight into the 'keeper's arms.

The visitors were back on level terms midway through the half. Barrada launched a fine cross from the right, and with the Racing defence bunched in the middle of the six-yard box, the ball fell to Jaime Gavilán unmarked at the far post to gently lift home his first goal of the season.

On the half hour mark Getafe had another great chance through Güiza: the veteran forward got a fine touch on it this time but Toño - having an excellent game - was equal to the task. Exemplifying an equal half, Stuani then missed a sitter at the other end.

Six minutes into the second half some great close interplay in the box presented Gavilán and then Güiza with excellent chances from close range, but Toño once again proved the saviour for an uncoordinated Racing defence.

Although Getafe were having the best of the play, Cata Díaz sprung them from jail on the hour mark when Álvaro seemed set to steer goalwards unmarked after a corner.

Still, the visitors were clearly the better side in the second half, a combination of great work from Toño and a lack of composure in the box from Getafe keeping the score at 1-1.

Dani Güiza was the biggest culprit in terms of chances missed, and Geta almost paid the price twelve minutes from time when Lautaro Acosta was put through on goal, only for Moyà to pull off a vital save.

Finally the pressure paid off eight minutes from time as Getafe, taking advantage of Racing's wide line, hit on the break. Diego Castro clipped the ball into the middle, Marc Torrejón made a hash of his interception, and all that was left was for Miku to control and then shoot from twelve yards to give his side the lead.

Getafe switched off after taking the lead and nearly paid for it several times in the closing minutes, but ultimately held on for a merited win.

Next for the Madrid outfit is a trip to Valencia to meet Levante, who despite a recent dip in form remain in the top four.

Racing: Toño; Álvaro, Torrejón, Bernardo, Cisma; Papa Diop, Colsa (Tziolis 46); Arana (Kennedy 65), Adrián, Acosta; Stuani (Jairo 52).

Getafe: Moyà; Valera, Cata Díaz, Rafa (Lopo 16), Barrada (Diego Castro 79), Míchel, Casquero, Gavilán (Pedro León 61'); Dani Güiza, Miku.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Real Zaragoza 1-1 Getafe: Late fightback preserves unbeaten record

1-0 Lanzaro 38'
1-1 og (Paredes) 78'

Disappointing showing against the basement boys - but one point is brought home...
... Getafe now haven't lost in four matches ahead of the grudge clash at Santander...

Getafe came from behind to secure a draw against last-placed Real Zaragoza, whose impressive home support and fighting spirit was not enough to end their shocking winless run that now stretches to three months.

The Azulones have every reason to be disappointed with the outcome, but had they been offered a draw at half time there is no doubting that coach Luis García would have accepted.

Zaragoza's fans - in the midst of a vocal protest against the club's leadership - were out in force to see their side start strongly, with Ivan Obradovic bringing out the best in Miguel Moyà early on after a corner.

Ten minutes from the break a fine Dani Güiza header similarly tested Roberto at the other end.

But mere seconds later, Luis García's corner found Maurizio Lanzaro, whose excellent headed effort was too much for the visiting 'keeper to deal with.

Getafe tried to fight back as Javier Casquero moved forwards and outwards to support Abdel Barrada, but the first half ended without another goal.

After the break the visitors threw men forward, introducing Diego Castro and the back-from-injury Pedro León in an attempt to overload the Aragonese outfit.

Zaragoza, for their part, also tried to break forward, but they were left heartbroken as twelve minutes from time Pedro León's corner was attacked by Rafa and the home defence, at sixes and sevens, suddenly had the ball in their own net through ex-Getafe man Javier Paredes.

Next Saturday brings a trip to Cantabria to meet Racing Santander in what is usually a fraught encounter.

Zaragoza: Roberto; Lanzaro, Da Silva, Paredes, Obradovic (Edu Oriol 90); Zuculini (Abraham 84), Pintér; Rubén Micael, Luis García, Lafita (Aranda 72); Helder Postiga.

Getafe: Moyà; Valera, Cata Díaz, Rafa, Masilela; Pedro Ríos (Diego Castro 58), Míchel, Casquero (Pedro León 71), Abdel Barrada; Dani Güiza (Juan Rodríguez 90), Miku.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Getafe 0-0 Athletic Bilbao: Lively second half brings no goals

Winter shutdown ends with a game of two halves at the Coliseum...
... After a dull first period the hosts couldn't take their chances in the second...

Getafe failed to make it three games in a row but at least retained  their recent unbeaten record courtesy of a 0-0 draw with a fairly nondescript Athletic Bilbao side in Madrid on Sunday afternoon.

The first period saw few opportunities, with Miku's early header being saved well by Gorka Iraizoz and Andoni Iraola failing to connect properly with an Iker Muniain cross within the first fifteen minutes.

From there the match slowed down significantly heading towards the break, with only a booking for Dani Güiza - awarded after a foul on Fernando Amorebieta - enlivening a dull encounter.

Seconds after the break Miku drove over from close range as Athletic started the half looking vulnerable to a Pedro Ríos cross from the right, giving the home fans hope of more exciting moments to come.

This proved to be the case as Geta put on a real show in the second half, pausing for breath only when Athletic had a Javi Martínez goal - also involving the freshly-uninjured Fernando Llorente - correctly ruled out for offside after a deep free-kick.

Athletic were in fact finding themselves frustrated by Geta's high line, and at the other end Miku continued to pose a danger until the dying minutes, his header twelve minutes from time proving a tough one for Gorka.

Of course Miguel Moyà had a few tasks to complete at the other end, but it was clear that Getafe were on top and that only a lack of cutting edge prevented their taking all three points.

Thus Getafe will end the weekend mid-table and just a scant few points above the dropzone. Next week brings a trip to Zaragoza, who are dead last in the Liga standings.

Getafe: Moyà, Valera, Cata Díaz, Rafa, Masilela; Pedro Ríos (Gavilán 71), Míchel, Casquero (Lacen 77), Abdel; Miku, Dani Güiza (Diego Castro 82).

Athletic Bilbao: Gorka Iraizoz; Iraola, Javi Martínez, Amorebieta, Aurtentxe; Iturraspe, De Marcos (San José 54); Susaeta, Ander, Muniain (Ibai 83); Toquero (Llorente 64).
Note: Peña Getafense Escocia is now back from its winter hiatus, which was due to vacation.