Getafe keep Champions League hopes alive


Getafe have continued their push for a top four La Liga finish with vital wins over Athletic Bilbao and Sevilla in recent weeks.

If Jose Bordalas’ side can hold their nerve in the next five games of the season, they will be bringing Europe’s biggest names to the Coliseum Alfonso Perez for the first time in their short history.

Neutrals have followed their season closely, although it is forgivable to think that the more established names, outside of the Big Three, would have eventually hauled them back in the push for Europe.

The side from South Madrid hit a difficult patch in mid-March, with just one point from three games putting their season in danger of coming off track.

However they have returned to their pragmatic best, with seven home wins from their last eight league games – meaning they have been able to put  distance between themselves and Sevilla.

Two of the most in form La Liga side in 2019 have been Joaquin Caparros’ side and Gaizka Garitano’s Basque club, and Getafe have beaten them both in April.

The 1-0 win over Athletic was a textbook Getafe performance, with an tight defensive display, led by Dakonam Djene, with veteran striker Angel coming off the bench to notch the late winner.

Bordalas has balanced his front line brilliantly this season, in order to maximise the best from two strikers – Angel and Jorge Molina – that are both over 30.

Molina endured a dry spell at the start of 2019, with doubts over his ability to maintain his level across a full top flight season, but his dead eye from the penalty spot and ability to act as an effective foil for Jaime Mata has driven Getafe on.

Molina and Mata were back to their best as a pair in the 3-0 home win over Sevilla last weekend, a result which seems to have taken some of the sting out of the Andalusian’s late push for the top four.

They are not a side filled with goals, but this trio, backed up by an effective midfield partnership of Nemanja Maksimovic and Mauro Arambarri has built its success on efficiency, and if they can keep their nerve they should get over the line.

The difficulty will be picking up enough points from the remaining games, with Real Madrid visiting this week and a trip to the Nou Camp before the end of the campaign – although the Catalan side may field a second string side, as they are expected to have already won the league by then.

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