Oghenekaro Etebo must have felt good getting his first start in a Getafe shirt and doing so in front of a sellout Camp Nou where he would face Lionel Messi, not for the first time in his career.
Etebo was in line for his fourth appearance for the club since joining in the January transfer window and the Midfielder was well rested for the battle.
However, Pepe Bordalas wasn’t thinking about deploying the combative central midfielder in his natural position.
Etebo was thrown to the left flank as cover for Allan Nyom, whose frequent forward runs has seen him contribute directly to two goals in the league; and he even had one chalked off on Saturday.
Getafe weren’t trying to contain the more attacking host, Bordalas staying true to his strategy had his front men pressuring and the midfield pushing high up to close up the channels and stifle Barca’s free flowing passes.
But that intensity withered on the quarter hour and Messi was at the center of it, setting up Antoine Griezmann for the opener.
The second goal would come only six minutes later, through the left flank, Etebo not closing down his man and allowing a low cross which an unmarked Sergio Roberto beautifully converted.
Etebo’s contributions was limited mostly to 13 passes and a 75 percent completion, three attempted tackles, but not interception made.
He also lost possession twice, but overall, he provided the discipline the team needed to defend a rampant side like Barcelona.
The Nigerian was subbed off, after Getafe pulled a goal back, for a more attacking option in Senegal’s Amath Ndiaye.
Himself tweeted a day after, describing the disappointment with the outcome of the game.
Disappointing results but we go again lads 🔵 pic.twitter.com/o1sAa9kulh
— Etebo Karo (@etebo_karo) February 16, 2020
The defeat to second placed Barca does leave them still in third position and 10 points behind the league champions.
Getafe return to action on Thursday when they host Ajax in the first leg of their Europa League round 16 tie at the Coliseum Alfonso Pérez.
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