Barcelona 2-1 Getafe: Depay makes the difference as shaky Barca beat strugglers

By Sports Desk August 29, 2021

Memphis Depay struck an exquisite winner as Barcelona edged out Getafe 2-1 at Camp Nou, with the Dutch forward able to celebrate a feat that was last achieved a decade ago.

His 30th-minute strike made Depay the first Barcelona player to be involved in a goal in each of his first three appearances in LaLiga since Cesc Fabregas in 2011, and it was a classic finish from the Dutch forward that saw him match the former playmaker.

Depay had an assist in Barcelona's opening win over Real Sociedad, then scored in the draw at Athletic Bilbao, and his first league goal at home for the Blaugrana proved to be decisive.

Sergi Roberto's second-minute strike had been cancelled out by former Barca forward Sandro Ramirez, but Sunday's disjointed display from the hosts was still enough for three points thanks to former Lyon man Depay.

Barcelona made a strong start, with Sergi Roberto sliding home their opener after 99 seconds, the earliest Barcelona have scored in a LaLiga game under Ronald Koeman. Jordi Alba's low cross from the left was cleverly dummied by Martin Braithwaite at the near post and Sergi Roberto powered in the finish.

Getafe pulled level in the 19th minute, however, with a pair of former Barca players involved. Sandro struck a fine finish low into the left corner after exchanging passes with Carles Alena on the edge of the penalty area.

Depay's moment arrived on the half hour, collecting a pass from fellow Dutchman Frenkie de Jong on the left and cutting in, teasing defender Juan Iglesias before smashing a powerful shot inside the near post.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen was back for this match after knee surgery, and the Barca goalkeeper took a clattering just before half-time, Enes Unal challenging forcefully as the German clutched a long-range shot from Mauro Arambarri at the second attempt.

Ter Stegen saved from Nemanja Maksimovic just before the hour as Getafe sought a second equaliser, and an unmarked Sergi Roberto headed straight at David Soria from Clement Lenglet's cross moments later.

Barcelona were far from convincing, still obviously missing the influence of the departed Lionel Messi, and the second half was awfully scrappy.

But in the absence of anything discernably threatening from a lacklustre Antoine Griezmann, Depay's matchwinning qualities made the difference, even if he did squander a golden chance late on, volleying over from close range.

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  • Australian Open: How champion Barty turned second set around Australian Open: How champion Barty turned second set around

    Ash Barty was staring at a nervy deciding set in the Australian Open final before she turned the second on its head to end the locals' drought.

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    Stats Perform takes a closer look at what happened, with Collins two points away from forcing a third set on three separate occasions.

    Collins serving at 6-3 1-5
    Barty had served two double faults in the previous game to open the door widely to Collins. After the American missed a first serve, a loud cheer from the crowd was met by a disapproving finger wag from Barty, who followed that up with a forehand winner. Still, Collins found herself two points from the set at 30-30. But she sent a backhand well long before Barty forced another error with a powerful return. Collins made one of six first serves in the game.

    Barty serving at 6-3 2-5
    Barty raced into a 40-0 lead and, while Collins won the next two points, a long forehand helped her hold, putting pressure on the American.

    Collins serving at 6-3 3-5
    Collins again found herself two points from the set, leading 30-0. The response from Barty was phenomenal. Barty crushed a forehand return winner down the line before another forehand winner caught the back of the line to draw the game level at 30-30. Another big forehand return set up break point before Collins netted a backhand.

    Barty serving at 6-3 4-5
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    Collins serving at 6-3 5-5
    On the back of making four of five first serves, Collins steadied to end Barty's run of four straight games.

    Barty serving at 6-3 5-6
    For the third time, Collins found herself two points away from winning the set, with Barty in a 15-30 hole. But Barty came up big, delivering three consecutive unreturnable serves to force a tie-break.

    Tie-break
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  • Australian Open: Barty 'a little stumped' after maiden Melbourne success Australian Open: Barty 'a little stumped' after maiden Melbourne success

    Ash Barty was "a little stumped" after she beat Danielle Collins to claim her maiden Australian Open title.

    The world number one had to come from 5-1 down in the second set to defeat her American opponent – a first-time grand slam finalist – 6-3 7-6 (7-2) on Rod Laver Arena.

    Buoyed on by a partisan home crowd in Melbourne, Barty made light work of a drained Collins in the tie-break to become the first Australian since 1978 to win the men's or women's singles in the season's first major.

    Barty is also the first woman to win her home grand slam since Sloane Stephens triumphed in the 2017 US Open, and the first woman since Serena Williams in 2015 to win the Australian Open while ranked number one.

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    She is the first Australian Open Women's singles winner with 30 or fewer games dropped on her way to secure the title since Mary Pierce in 1995.

    "I'm a little stumped here," Barty said at the on-court presentation.

    "I would love to thank everyone who does so much work behind the scenes. This last couple of years has been extraordinarily tough for everyone.

    "It takes a really big village to put on an event like this. I think this tournament has been one of my favourite experiences.

    "To my team... wow. I'm so lucky to have so many people here that love me, support me, my mum, dad and sisters here, so happy that they could come down here today.

    "I'm an incredibly fortunate and lucky girl to have so much love in my corner. We did it all together. Nobody's changed from my team, you guys are the best in the business, I can't thank you enough for all the time and love you put into me.

    "As an Aussie, the most important thing is to share this with so many people and this crowd is one of the most fun I've ever played in front of.

    "You guys relaxed me, forced me to play my best tennis. Against a champion like Danielle, I knew I had to bring that today. Thanks for all your love and support the last couple of weeks.

    "This is just a dream come true for me, and I'm so proud to be an Aussie."

    Collins will be heading into the top 10 for the first time in her career after her run in Melbourne. The 28-year-old looked primed to take the match to a decider when she raced ahead in the second set, before Barty's sensational comeback.

    "Congratulations to Danielle and your team, it's been an amazing fortnight for you," Barty told the runner-up.

    "You're in the top 10 and that's absolutely where you belong. I know you'll be fighting for many more of these in the future."

    Collins, who was aiming for a third career singles title on the WTA Tour, is the seventh different American player to reach the final of the women's singles at the Australian Open since the turn of the century.

    She beat Barty in Adelaide in 2021 but has now lost four of their five meetings in total.

    "Well, first, I owe a big congratulations to Ash, on a phenomenal two weeks here, a really phenomenal couple of years," the 28-year-old said.

    "It's been tremendous to watch her climb her way up the rankings all the way to number one and live out her dream.

    "I really admire you as the player that you are, the variety of your game – hopefully I can implement some of that into mine."

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