Pedri decider helps Barcelona edge Getafe to maintain lead at top

BARCELONA: Pedri’s first-half strike earned Barcelona three more points and maintained their top position in the La Liga table as they beat Getafe 1-0. 

Barcelona jumped to 44 points, three ahead of their arch-rivals and second-placed Real Madrid who also defeat Athletic Club 2-0 later on Sunday.

Getafe, however, slipped to 16th and level on 17 points with Celta Vigo and 18th-placed Real Valladolid, barely above the relegation zone thanks to a better goal difference.

In preparation for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey quarterfinal match against Real Sociedad, head coach Xavi Hernandez made many adjustments to his starting lineup, resting key players including Robert Lewandowski, Ronald Araujo, and Frenkie de Jong.

Pedri broke the deadlock in the 34th minute by latching onto Raphinha’s pass and guiding it to the back of the nets.

Barcelona dominated the opposition throughout the game, holding possession of the ball for about 70% of the time. However, with only four shots on target during the entire match, the Catalan Giants did not produce many obvious opportunities to widen their lead.

Meanwhile, experienced Karim Benzema and Toni Kross scored goals to take Real Madrid home with flying colours at San Mames.

Ballon d’Or winner Benzema gave his side a lead in the 23rd minute with an eloquent left-footed finish from the centre of the box while Toni Kroos extended the lead in the dying minutes of the game with a long-range shot.

Earlier, a late penalty shot from Dani Parejo deep into the stoppage time helped fifth-placed Villareal sink Girona 1-0 at El Madrigal.

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