Barcelona played out a goalless draw away to Getafe CF to officially seal a second-placed finish in LaLiga.
The Catalan Club began the season in uncharacteristic fashion and by November, they were sitting in ninth place. There was a lot of noise surrounding the club, however, with talks of budget cuts and wage reductions hanging over the players’ heads at the time.
However, Dutchman Ronald Koeman was unable to make the best of the situation and the club performed dismally in the league and in the UEFA Champions League. Newly-elected president Joan Laporta sacked Koeman in November despite supporting him for most of the season and in three weeks, Xavi Hernandez was brought in from Qatari Stars League club Al-Sadd.
The former Barcelona midfielder faced an uphill task to resuscitate his old club and get them challenging for the league again or even upset the balance of things and win it. Laporta also supported the new manager with some astute business in the winter transfer window, bringing in two quality free transfers alongside a big money signing and a loan signing.
Xavi has now made lemonade out of the lemons he was served on his appointment and turned around the fortunes of the club whose future looked bleak. They have now bettered their third place finish from last season as they will officially finish as runners-up of the 2021/22 LaLiga Santander season.
Match report: Getafe 0 – 0 Barcelona
The match was a pretty dull one, with both clubs choosing to play it safe. Xavi named a much changed side, with only Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Sergio Busquets, Dani Alves and Ferran Torres keeping their place in the squad as starters from the last few matches.
There was no intensity in both team’s forays into the opponent’s box as they both understood that a point would help their aims.
Getafe, however, looked like breaking the deadlock and were also very composed at the back, but Barcelona did not offer much bite in attack either.
The second half was more of the same but Barcelona would be worried as Memphis Depay, who has had bad luck with injuries this season, had to be taken off after colliding with former Barcelona midfielder Carles Alena.
Barcelona have now sealed a place in the Supercopa De Espana next season and will face Real Madrid in the first semi-final. The winner will go on to face either Valencia or Real Betis Balompie in the final for the trophy in January 2023.