LaLiga's top two scorers were on target again as the leaders carved out a 2-1 victory in the Coliseum to increase their advantage over Atlético.
Getafe 1-2 Barcelona: as it happened
Atlético Madrid, Sevilla and Real Madrid all dropping points - could prove a key weekend in this year's title race. However, Barça were pushed all the way by Getafe, who had a seemingly good Jaime Mata goal ruled out early on and, aside from a 20-minute spell of Blaugrana domination after Messi opened the scoring for the visitors, gave as good as they got. Indeed, they should have levelled after the break when Mata, who had already pulled one back just before half time, rounded Marc-André ter Stegen - but missed the target with the goal gaping. That said, Barça might just as easily have added to their goal tally, particularly when the ever imperious Messi was denied by a late David Soria save after Ousmane Dembélé's fine pass had left the Argentine one on one with the Getafe keeper. Thanks for reading!Peep peep peeeeep! First-half goals by Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez are enough to win it for Barcelona, who open up a five-point lead at the top of LaLiga in what - with
93' Messi again shows magnificent fight to keep possession and find Suárez in a good position. The Uruguayan twists and turns on the right side of the penalty box before finally winning a corner... which there is no time to take.
91' Messi does great work on the right to weave and thrust past a few blue shirts and feed Suárez on the edge of the box, but the Uruguayan then undoes all his team-mate's efforts by taking a heaving touch, and Getafe clear.
90' Three minutes of time added on.
88' Final change for Barcelona: Aleñá replaces Arthur in midfield.
87' Barça are popping it about with a greater degree of comfort now. Three minutes plus stoppage time separate them from a five-point lead.
85' Coutinho immediately serves up a lovely corner-kick delivery that finds Lenglet with a free header - but he nods wide! Moments later, Messi fires an inviting free-kick chance well over the bar.
84' Coutinho comes on for Dembélé for Barça, while Getafe also make a change, Portillo making way for Rober Ibáñez.
83' Messi drives in a low shot from the edge of the box that Soria can only parry as far as Dembélé, but the Frenchman's attempt to pull it back across goal is cut out by Djené! And that's Dembélé's final involvement.
81' Molina controls a dropping ball with his back to goal, swivels and fires towards goal... but sees his shot blocked by Piqué. Nine minutes to go at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. Philippe Coutinho is preparing to come on for Barcelona.
It was for a foul on Suárez, I am informed.
77' Maksimovic becomes the eighth man to go into the book, for an offence which I must confess I missed.
75' Messi spurns a golden chance to seal the points! Getafe harry Piqué into giving away a corner, but in the blink of an eye Barça turn defence into attack. Dembélé does brilliantly, leading the counter and waiting for just the right moment to slip Messi in behind the home defence... but the Argentine's shot is saved by Soria!
73' A second change for Getafe, Ángel making way for Samu Saiz. Just over 15 minutes for the hosts to find an equaliser.
Just before that free-kick was taken, Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde shuffled his pack for the first time, replacing Vidal with Sergio Busquets. The visitors really could do with Busquets bringing a bit of order and calm to the midfield.
69' Cabrera, you lucky boy. The Getafe defender goes absolutely piling in on Suárez, and is extremely fortunate to get away with a yellow. It'll be a free-kick to Barça on the right... which comes to nought.
67' Oh my. What. A. Miss. Mata channels his inner Ronnie Rosenthal, advancing into the box, rounding Ter Stegen and, after what feels like an age, turning the ball towards goal... but, with the net gaping, sclaffing it over! And replays show that the strike wouldn't have been ruled out for offside.
64' Vidal is the next man into the book after bringing down Arambarri.
63' ...and pings it over the bar! Getafe escape.
62' But having had to survive a scare or two, Barcelona now have a free-kick in Messi territory, after the Argentine is fouled by Damián Suárez. The Getafe defender gets a yellow for his troubles. Messi takes...
60' And now Cabrera does get his head onto the ball, powering an effort towards goal that Ter Stegen has to be alive to tip over! That Messi chance aside, Getafe have really been having the better of it the opening stages of this second half.
59' Mata almost gets his head to it at the back post! Getafe win another free-kick out wide, this time on the right, and Antunes' delivery skims off Alba's head and nearly sets up the hosts' goalscorer for a second!
57' José Bordalás makes Getafe's first change of the night, and it's an attacking one. Jorge Molina coming on for Foulquier. Striker for a defender.
53' Great chance for Messi to make it three! Dembélé whips in a cross straight onto Antunes' head, but the Getafe defender gets his clearance all wrong and succeeds only in nodding the ball right to Messi - who thumps his effort down Soria's gullet! A let-off for the hosts.
49' Barça dominated for a good chunk of the first half after getting the first goal, but Getafe have also given them plenty to think about. The hosts now get a free-kick on the left, which Antunes swings in... but the visitors deal with it, and finally get one of their own when Ángel is deemed to have strayed offside.
48' Ángel goes within a whisker of making it 2-2! Foulquier gets there first to a dodgy clearance by Ter Stegen and releases the striker in the behind the Blaugrana backline, but his angled effort flashes across goal and just wide!
No changes, by the way.
Peeeeeep! We are back underway. Barcelona heading five points clear as it stands.
Peep peep peeeeep! That's half time at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, where goals by Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez - the latter an absolute pearler - established a 2-0 lead for a Barcelona side who have been dominant for much of the first 45, before Jaime Mata brought Getafe back into it just before the break. It's been good fun. See you in 15 minutes' time.
Moments earlier, Arambarri had almost brought the hosts back into it with a shot that hit the post - via a heavy deflection off Lenglet - and now they do get the ball into net, Ángel sidefooting the ball across the face of Ter Stegen's goal for Mata to prod home from point-blank range!
42' Goooal! Mata pulls one back for Getafe!
Messi swings in a free-kick from the right, and when it is headed clear it falls to Suárez on the edge of the box - and the Uruguayan volleys a fabulous strike past Soria and into corner!
38' What a goal by Luis Suárez! Barcelona lead 2-0!
33' Mata pings in a cross that Ter Stegen grabs hold of with relative ease. Getafe haven't really had a sniff since Barcelona took the lead.
28' And again Barça almost double their lead! Dembélé clips the ball across the face of the area to Suárez, who is given all the time in the world to turn and aim a shot at the far corner. To give the Getafe defence their dues, Djené does get a toe to it and it flies off target... although a goal-kick is given. (Much to Alba's ire; given he's already on a yellow, though, he wants to keep a lid on that, surely...)
25' Piqué goes close to making it 2-0! It's lovely football from the visitors, who have really got into their stride since opening the scoring. Messi - him again - feeds Alba's run to the byline, where the left-back touches it back to Piqué... but his shot from six yards is saved by Soria!
22' Could have been two! Messi is again at the heart of it, slipping a lovely ball into Suárez on the right-hand side of the Getafe box. Soria makes himself big and beats out the Uruguayan's strike, though.
Djené and Cabrera leave a dropping ball into the box to one another and Messi is quickest to the it, taking advantage of the hesitation in the hosts' defence to knock it past Soria and finish from an acute angle! An absolute sniffer's strike, that one.
20' Goooal! Messi with LaLiga strike number 399! Barcelona lead.
16' Ter Stegen's a lucky boy there. The goalkeeper is fortunate to get away with a free-kick after controlling a (admittedly less then user-friendly) backpass on the chest and turning away from Ángel, who catches the German with a high boot.
15' Which they get horribly wrong, trying a Scholes-esque, edge-of-the-box volley routine which they fluff up mightily.
13' The game's not even a quarter of an hour old and we have our second and third yellow cards of the night. One for Alba, who is penalised for pulling back Foulquier, and the other for the Frenchman for catching the Barça left-back with a flailing arm. After all of which, it'll be a free-kick for Getafe in a decent position on the right.
11' Ufff. Arthur is the first man into the book for swinging an arm at Ángel. Silly boy.
9' There's a shooting chance for Luis Suárez at the back post, but he miskicks completely and the chance is lost. After three or four minutes of nothing, it's been ively enough since then.
8' Goooal for Geta... no! Moments after there are shouts for a penalty for a perceived shove by Arturo Vidal, Mata sidefoots a Antunes' left-wing cross home at the far post - but it's ruled out for what can only be a foul by Ángel on Lenglet. Hmmm. Borderline.
5' Getafe quickly carve out a moment of their own, Ángel pumping the ball over when found by Mata on the edge of the box. The ball was fizzed into him at a fair old clip, so it was always going to be tough for him to keep his effort under control. Up the other end, Messi slips a cute little pass in behind for Dembélé to run onto, but the flag is up.
4' Just as I was about to write that absolutely Fanny Adams has happened so far, Dembélé almost slices open the Getafe defence all by himself! He's finally knocked off the ball in the area by Djené and referee Guillermo Cuadra waves play-on in the face of fairly muted penalty shouts.
With Busquets on the bench, Rakitic has dropped back into the deeper midfield position.
Peeeep! We are up and running at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez. Getafe in blue, Barcelona in pink/salmon/whatever it is.
The teams are in the tunnel, and as we wait for the action to get underway in Getafe, allow me to point you in the direction of my colleague Robbie, who has been covering events at the Bernabéu - where Real Madrid have fallen to a surprise home defeat to Real Sociedad. That's the Basques' first victory away to Madrid since 2004.
By the way, if you're looking to park yourself in front of a screen to take in tonight's clash at the Alfonso Pérez, you may wish to have a look at our useful guide on how and where to watch.
If they are to go five points clear, Barça will also have to end a run of five years without a win in their opening January fixture. Not since a 4-0 pasting of Elche have the Catalans begun the calendar year with a victory...
And speaking of goals, this man is just two shy of bringing up the eminently passable total of 400 in LaLiga.
Working in Barcelona's favour, however, is the fact that they are, by quite a distance, the top scorers in LaLiga this season, with 48.
Across Europe's major leagues, that's a defensive record bettered only by Paris Saint-Germain, Liverpool, Juventus and, before the goal they conceded against Sevilla this afternoon, Atlético. (After today's draw at the Sánchez-Pizjuán, Los Rojiblancos have now also let in 13 LaLiga goals this term.)
What's more, the hosts came into this weekend's round of LaLiga fixtures with the second-meanest defence in this term's Spanish top flight - behind only Atlético Madrid - having conceded just 13 league goals, of which a paltry four have come on home turf.
Indeed, Los Azulones have lost just the once in their last 11 matches in all competitions - a run stretching back to early October.
This afternoon's 1-1 draw between title rivals Sevilla and Atlético Madrid means that league leaders Barcelona have the chance to go five points clear with a win this evening - but they visit a Getafe side who are on a more than half-decent run of form, it's fair to say.
Getafe coach José Bordalás makes one change to the team that drew with Girona last time out, Portillo coming in for Jorge Molina.
Sergio Busquets is left out of the Barça line-up after being struck down by a bout of the voms on Friday, so Arthur, Ivan Rakitic and Arturo Vidal start in midfield for the visitors. In the only other change to the side that saw off Celta Vigo before the Christmas break, meanwhile, Sergi Roberto returns from injury and replaces Nelson Semedo at right-back.
First things first, we have team news - let's dive straight into that...
Good evening and welcome to our live coverage of Getafe and Barcelona's LaLiga clash at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez, where kick-off is in an hour.
Getafe vs Barcelona: match preview
Barcelona are out to end their recent New Year hoodoo as they visit in-form Getafe in LaLiga tonight (20:45 CET).
Barcelona haven't won first game of calendar year since 2014
The leaders can extend their advantage at the top of the league to five points after Sevilla and Atlético Madrid's 1-1 draw this afternoon, but to do so must win their opening fixture of the calendar year for the first time since back in 2014.
They will also have to overcome a Getafe side who have lost just one of their last 11 matches in all competitions, and who boast a miserly defence that has conceded just 13 LaLiga goals this term, of which only four have come at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.
Alongside midfielders Rafinha and Sergi Samper, centre-backs Samuel Umtiti and Thomas Vermaelen remain in the Barça sick bay, but Ernesto Valverde's defensive options have been bolstered by the loan signing of Valencia's Jeison Murillo, who is in today's squad.
High-flying Getafe have chance to go sixth in LaLiga
Meanwhile, José Bordalás' seventh-placed hosts - who can leapfrog Real Betis into the Europa League spots after the Andalusians' defeat to Huesca yesterday - are without winger Amath Ndiaye (medial cruciate ligament) and midfielder Markel Bergara (broken arm).