Antoine Griezmann ended a five-match scoreless streak in LaLiga as Barcelona survived a second-half fightback to claim a 2-1 victory over third-placed Getafe. (More Football News)
Needing a win to put themselves level on points with table-toppers Real Madrid, Quique Setien's side started sluggishly on Saturday and would have gone behind if not for VAR.
Barca made their good fortune count, though, Lionel Messi - on his 350th official appearance at Camp Nou - setting up Griezmann to open the scoring in the 33rd minute.
Sergi Roberto doubled Barca's tally before half-time, but Barca-linked Angel Rodriguez set up a grandstand finish, with Marc-Andre ter Stegen just managing to deny Getafe an equaliser as the champions held on.
Jordi Alba succumbed to a right adductor injury in the 22nd minute, with Junior Firpo introduced, and things looked to have got worse for the hosts when Allan Nyom tucked home from a corner, only for the goal to be ruled out by VAR for a foul on Samuel Umtiti.
Marc Cucurella was inches away from putting his parent club behind moments later, yet it was Barca who broke the deadlock when Messi fed a wonderful, disguised pass through to Griezmann, who finished with a sublime flick over David Soria.
7 - Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann has been involved in seven goals in his last eight LaLiga games against Getafe (four goals and three assists). Omnipresent. pic.twitter.com/ZizvScj0k9— OptaJose (@OptaJose) February 15, 2020
It was 2-0 six minutes later - Roberto sending a first-time finish into the bottom-right corner at the culmination of a slick move, and only a fine save from Soria prevented Messi adding a third before half-time.
Angel was brought on shortly after the restart and the change had the desired impact when he volleyed in from the edge of the box.
Ter Stegen denied Jaime Mata a tap-in with 18 minutes remaining and, though Griezmann squandered two great chances, Barca ultimately made their goalkeeper's save count as they claimed the points.
CHECKMATE! pic.twitter.com/xJc4enpYws— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) February 15, 2020
What does it mean? All level at the top
With Madrid not in action until Sunday, Barca are - temporarily at least - level on points with Los Blancos at the top. The rivals go head-to-head at the start of March, in what looks set to be a pivotal clash in the title race.
Angel makes his mark at Camp Nou
Barca seem set to be given dispensation to sign a forward due to the season-ending injury suffered by Ousmane Dembele and Angel is one of the players reportedly high on their list.
If he is indeed to wind up as a Barca player in the coming weeks, the 32-year-old did his chances no harm with an exquisite finish - his 10th league goal of the season.
More injury woe for Alba
It has been an injury hit campaign for Barca full-back Alba and his frustrations continued when he hobbled off midway through the first half and he could well now be a doubt for the Champions League encounter with Napoli on February 25, as well as a crucial Clasico on March 1.
Barca are at home again in their next league fixture, against Eibar, while Getafe face Ajax in the Europa League on Thursday.
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