Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Europa League Preview: OB Odense - Getafe

With Getafe having put in a suberb performance against Sevilla on Saturday evening, confidence is high among the Azulones. Yet the Madrid side's current European form leaves much to be desired, and as such nothing can be taken for granted ahead of Wednesday's visit to Odense to face OB.

With four games played in the Europa League group stage Getafe are on the verge of European elimination, having taken just three points so far. Those came against OB themselves at the Coliseum back on Matchday 1, Javier Arizmendi and Pedro Ríos bringing Geta back from a goal down.

Since then two losses to Young Boys of Bern and Stuttgart render Getafe decided outsiders to progress: defeat, in fact, will almost certainly result in elimination, while even a draw will not be good enough if already-qualified Stuttgart lose to the Swiss.

Geta coach Míchel, still beaming from Saturday's result, has put aside all talk of his managerial future to focus on Wednesday's game, calling up a strong squad replete with regular first teamers. Rafa returns to the squad after recent injury, but Javier Casquero and Javier Arizmendi are unable to recover in time to travel to Denmark.

OB are yet to announce their squad but in the aftermath of their 2-0 defeat to Brondby in a match vital for both sides' Champions league aspirations, coach Henrik Clausen may ring the changes, particularly as influential midfielder Hans Henrik Andreasen limped off injured midway through the first half. The veteran, who scored twice against Young Boys in OB's last Europa League outing, is now doubtful for the Geta clash.

The Odense club have realistically given up their title ambitions already, with FC Copenhagen leading by 19 points after just 18 games, but need to remain in the top four to secure a European spot for next season; and with Getafe not safe from being sucked into the relegation mire, this tie may take a back seat for both sides.

Nonetheless OB will feel that there is a score to settle and their small but loud set of fans are likely to produce an atmosphere that was sadly lacking at the Coliseum last time these sides met.

Probable line ups:

Ustari; Miguel Torres, Cata Díaz, Ibrahim Kas, Mané; Boateng, Borja; Pedro Ríos, Albín, Manu; Miku.

OB: Carroll; Ruud, Moller Christensen, Haland, Sorensen; Traoré, Djemba-Djemba, Feldballe/Andreasen, Kadrii; Johansson; Utaka.


In other news, Eugen Polanski has made permanent his loan move from Getafe to high-flying Bundesliga outfit Mainz, siging a deal with the Pfalz side until 2014.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

Jornada 13: Sevilla 1-3 Getafe

1-0 Kanouté 29'
1-1 Manu del Moral (pen.) 57'
1-2 Miku 59'
1-3 Pedro Ríos 74'

Getafe stunned Sevilla to pull off a vital 3-1 win at the Sánchez Pizjuán in a match crucial for both the Azulones' aspirations of league survival and coach Míchel's hopes of retaining his job.

Despite Geta chairman Angel Torres' recent statement of support for the tactician, it had been rumoured that a poor performance and defeat in Andalucia would spell the end for Míchel.

But such talk was rendered moot as Geta mounted a superb second-half fightback against a Sevilla side capable of far better.

In an uneventful first half the hosts took the lead after 29 minutes. Neither Cata Díaz nor Iván Marcano was on form, and this showed when the latter gifted Fredi Kanouté a tap-in chance by failing to clear a routine cross from Diego Capel.

Despite Geta's recent poor form, though, there seemed to be hope of a revival as the visitors began the second period strongly. Their pressure told as Getafe were awarded their second penalty in two games, Abdoulay Konko handling Marcano's cross in the box. Manu del Moral, having previously missed a sitter, stepped up for the spot-kick: home 'keeper Andres Palop got a touch to it, but the ball rolled in off the post.

Two minutes later Getafe were ahead. Under-fire Venezuelan forward Miku was left unmarked at the far post to meet Jaime Gavilán's cross for a confident finish on the half-volley.

Geta's victory was complete when in the 74th minute Pedro Ríos took advantage of Sevilla's failure to clear their lines from a corner, rifling the ball into the roof of the net from ten yards out.

Thus Getafe picked up their first victory in all competitions in over a month, and rise to ninth in the table, pending results elsewhere this weekend.

Next: Away to OB Odense in the Europa League on Wednesday. Getafe must win this game to be in with a chance of progression to the knockout rounds.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Míchel's Job Not In Danger - Angel Torres

Spanish sports daily Marca reported on Saturday that anything other than a win for Getafe against Zaragoza could spell the end for coach Míchel, but prior to tonight's fixture club president Angel Torres dismissed these rumours.

"We are pleased with Míchel," he said. "Last season he did well and we finished sixth. This year we can't expect to enter the Champions League and win the Copa del Rey.

"Míchel is under contract and will remain with us."

Jornada 12: Getafe 1-1 Zaragoza

0-1 Bertolo 33'
1-1 Colunga (pen.) 49'

Getafe could not make pressure count against a ten-man Zaragoza side who also had chances to kill off what was an entertaining but low-quality match at the Coliseum.

The hosts' failure to find the net increased their winless run in La Liga to four games, although the previous three were defeats.

It's a particularly disappointing result given that Zaragoza played most of the second half a man down, and the Aragón side both began and ended the night in last place.

Zaragoza took the lead just after the half hour mark in bizarre circumstances. Jordi Codina came 40 yards off his line to the touchline to meet a speculative ball forward but made a hash of his clearance; Argentine midfielder Nicolás Bertolo - who had a superb game - duly dispossesed the 'keeper and chipped the ball into the net from a distance.

Adrián Colunga levelled the score five minutes after the break, slotting home a penalty after Dani Parejo was unfairly challenged in the box by Florent Sinama-Pongolle, who received a yellow card.

Also booked on that occasion was Leonardo Ponzio, who saw yellow for dissent, and that was to cost him dearly as in the 63rd minute he was sent off for a second cautionable offence after handling Manu del Moral's cross just outside the area.

Getafe poured forward in the closing stages but could not find either the finish or, in truth, much by way of a meaningful final ball; Zaragoza looked dangerous on the counter once or twice but themselves lacked definition.

Next: a trip to Andalucia on Saturday evening to face Sevilla.

Sunday, 14 November 2010

Jornada 11: Valencia 2-0 Getafe

1-0 Tino Costa 8'
2-0 David Navarro 63'

A poor performance at the Mestalla consigned Getafe to their third consecutive league defeat.

Tino Costa opened the scoring early on for the hosts with an excellent volley from inside the area, and David Navarro doubled Valencia's tally on the hour mark with a via a tap-in after Jordi Codina parried away the defender's initial effort.

Geta's midfield didn't show up on the day and a typical display of poor deep defending did little to settle the nerves either.

Next: relegation candidates Zaragoza at home in what is surely a must-win tie.

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Copa del Rey: Getafe 0-0 Portugalete (1-1 agg.)

A dull as dishwater encounter at the Coliseum sees Getafe through to the next stage of the Copa del Rey, thanks to their 1-1 draw in the Basque Country in the first leg.

The draw for the 1/8 finals - or Round of 16 if you prefer UEFA-speak - takes place on Thursday November 18 at 13:00 CET. All teams remaining in the competition play in the Primera, with the exception of Segunda pairing Córdoba and Betis.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Jornada 10: Getafe 1-3 Barcelona

0-1 Messi 22'
0-2 Villa 33'
0-3 Pedro 64'
1-3 Manu del Moral (pen.) 70'

Barcelona ran out easy winners against Getafe in a match that went largely as expected, although both sides ended the evening with ten men.

Getafe's shell-shocked defence could not deal with Barcelona's excellent passing and movement, resulting in Messi tapping home the opener on 20 minutes after a superb team move.

David Villa was next to net towards the end of the first half, and when Pedro added a third just after the hour mark it seemed to be game over.

However, Gerard Piqué conceded a penalty - and a second booking - for handball on 70 minutes, allowing Getafe skipper Manu to convert the spot-kick and give his side a lifeline.

But another red card, this time for Geta's Derek Boateng, removed most hopes of a comeback. When Javier Arizmendi spurned a simple one-on-one ten minutes later, it was clear that Barcelona were bound to win.

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Europa League: Getafe 0-3 Stuttgart

0-1 Marica 25'
0-2 Gebhart 63'
0-3 Harnik 76'

Stuttgart ran riot at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on Thursday night, thrashing a lacklustre Getafe 3-0 in the fourth matchday of the 2010-11 Europa League group stage.

The hosts could not make the most of the few chances that they created, with their moves often breaking down on the edge of the area; Stuttgart, meanwhile, were confident in front of goal and were well worth the margin of victory.

The result sees Stuttgart advance to the next stage with a 100% record, but Getafe's Europa League dreams remain hanging by a thread as they languish on just three points from a possible twelve.

With the home support depleted to around 2,000 - due in part to high ticket prices - the visiting Stuttgart contingent had the most occasion to make noise on what was yet another disappointing evening for the hosts.

Getafe started in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation and with a recognisable first eleven, although the inclusion of forgotten man Ibrahim Kas at centre-back was a surprise. Also unusual was the inclusion of Adrian Sardinero, a reserve player making a rare first team appearance.

Stuttgart, meanwhile, went 4-4-2, and although they had to do without Khalid Boulahrouz and Pavel Pogrebnyak, their line-up was generally un-rotated from regular league play, with Mathieu Delpierre overcoming injury in time to start.

Geta had the best of the early stages, Colunga hitting the side netting with a solo effort and Sardinero having a penalty claim turned down when his strike from the edge of the area appeared to hit Tasci's elbow.

Stuttgart should have gone ahead on the quarter-hour mark, though, with Ciprian Marica's superb solo run bringing out a low save from Oscar Ustari: as the ball trickled across an open goalmouth, Mauro Camoranesi somehow contrived to send it wide of the target.

Indeed, Marica was fast becoming the star of the show in the early stages, with rotated right-back Victor Sánchez struggling to deal with his wide play.

It was not a great surprise when the Romanian star gave Stuttgart the lead. Derek Boateng committed an uncharacteristic howler by giving the ball away to the forward twenty-five yards from goal, and with no blue shirts nearby the Romanian was able to take his time and place his shot low past Ustari for the opener on 25 minutes.

Six minutes later, following a series of Stuttgart corners, Javier Arizmendi was afforded a chance on the counter but skimmed the top of the bar from the edge of the area.

For the most part, though, the remainder of the first half was all Stuttgart: die Roten should in fact have gone two up when Delpierre's deep cross left Kas standing and allowed Martin Harnik a free header. His attempt, though, hit the post and bounced wide.

The barrage continued as three minutes later Boka teed up Kuzmanovic to play a fine ball across goal, only for Harnik to shoot straight at Ustari from an unmarked position.

Harnik again found himself denied by Ustari, and then on the whistle Juan Angel Albín summed up Getafe's opening 45 with a poorly-taken free-kick that slammed straight off the German wall before a rebounding shot flew wide of the target.

After the break Getafe's night was further exemplified as Croatian referee Marijo Strahonja booked Cata Díaz and substitute Javier Casquero for protesting after the whistler pulled back play following a quickly-taken Getafe free-kick.

Seconds later, though, Javier Arizmendi's header from an Adrian Colunga cross had Sven Ulreich beaten, but narrowly missed the target.

Although Getafe enjoyed the best of the possession after the restart, they were struggling to convert possession into chances. Thus on came skipper Manu del Moral for Sardinero, while Stuttgart brought on Timo Gebhart for Serdar Tasci.

The change seemed to pay off as Geta enjoyed a series of chances in quick succession. The best of all fell to Adrian Colunga, who beat the offside trap to meet Javier Arizmendi's cross but shot straight at Ulreich when one-on-one.

All hope of a result disappeared three minutes later as Stuttgart managed their second goal. Marica and Kuzmanovic combined well to keep possession on the edge of the area before slipping the ball to the unmarked Gebhart, who had plenty of time to place his shot into the bottom corner of the net.

Getafe continued to press forward, though, with plenty of crosses coming in from the right courtesy of Arizmendi and Colunga, albeit to little effect.

But it was all too easy for Stuttgart who duly made it three: Marica sprayed the ball out wide for Boya, who in turn launched an incredible first-time cross to the far post, where Hernik had got in ahead of Cata Diaz to finally land his first goal of the evening with fifteen minutes to go.

It seemed as though it would be the perfect evening for Stuttgart, but in fact die Roten were hit by a hammer blow as Marica - not a first team regular, but one of their top performers on the night - was shown the red card after what seemed to be a fairly innocuous confrontation with Casquero.

Still, that was not enough to dampen the visiting fans' enthusiasm; as the home support trooped out in near silence, the German songs rang long and loud into the night.

Getafe face Barcelona at home this weekend, and their next Europa League fixture is at OB Odense on December 1st.

Monday, 1 November 2010

Jornada 9: Athletic Bilbao 3-0 Getafe

1-0 Iraola 6'
2-0 San José 12'
3-0 Gabilondo 83'

An exceedingly disappointing result and performance in the Basque country resulted in a 3-0 defeat for a Getafe side who never got going.

Two early goals from the hosts set Athletic en route for a routine win, and one that they absolutely deserved.

That said, Getafe had two first half chances that, had they taken, could have put a different spin on the game, but the result was in no way an injustice.