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Second half substitutions help Barcelona beat Getafe
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Reigning Primera Liga Champion FC Barcelona continued its positive start to the season with a 2-0 win in Getafe on Saturday.

The entry of Leo Messi and Andres Iniesta as second half substitutes helped to break down a stubborn Getafe side that had matched Barcelona in the first half.

However, in the second period Barcelona's class in front of goal made the difference and goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Messi assured what in the was an easy win.

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola decided to rest Leo Messi, who only returned from World Cup duty on Friday.

The Argentinean started the game on the substitute's bench along with Dani Alves, Thierry Henry and a fit again Andres Iniesta, while youngsters Jeffren and Pedro Rodriguez were given a chance to shine.

Getafe started the brighter of the two sides and almost took the lead after just 12 minutes. Juan Albin thumped a volley from the edge of the area and was unlucky to see the ball hit the crossbar.

Barcelona was struggling to break down a well organized Getafe, that looked dangerous on the break and the home side hit the woodwork again just before the half hour.

Pedro Leon crossed from the right and Roberto Soldado's spectacular overhead kick hit the post before Victor Valdes was able to clear.

Barcelona dominated possession, but until the last minute of the half struggled to create clear chances

However on 44 minutes Ibrahimovich should have put them ahead. He controlled a pass from Jeffren, turned his marker and only a fine save from Oscar Ustari stopped him opening the score.

The game changed just before the hour when Messi and Iniesta replaced Pedro and Jeffren and Barcelona's play took a step up in quality.

Messi needed just six minutes to work space for Eric Abidal whose low cross took a deflection on its way to Ibrahimovich. The big forward stuck out a foot to deflect the ball past the helpless Ustari.

Fifteen minutes later Messi made it 2-0 with a header following a smart cross from Ibrahimovich and what had promised to be a complicated game for Barcelona turned out to be a comfortable win.

(Xinhua News Agency September 14, 2009)

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