Abidal honored as Barcelona cut Real Madrid's lead to one point
April 11, 2012 -- Updated 1000 GMT (1800 HKT)
Alexis Sanchez of Barcelona celebrates with his teammate Xavi Hernandez after scoring the opener in the Nou Camp.
- Barcelona beat Getafe 4-0 in the Nou Camp in La Liga match
- Reigning champions close to within a point of Real Madrid at top
- Alexis Sanchez scores twice for Barcelona with Lionel Messi also on target
- Barcelona star Eric Abidal undergoing liver transplant as match takes place
(CNN) -- Barcelona notched up the pressure on La Liga leaders Real Madrid with a 4-0 home win over Getafe as Alexis Sanchez scored twice on the day that the Spanish club's defender Eric Abidal had a liver transplant.
Tuesday's victory left the defending champions a single point behind their archrivals, who face a testing derby match at Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.
It was Barcelona's 10th straight league win, and put Josep Guardiola equal second on the club's all-time La Liga victories list with 112 as coach, matching Frank Rijkaard.
Johan Cruyff has the record of 183 wins from 306 games as coach, but Guardiola has the highest winning percentage of 76.8% from 146 league outings, losing only 10 times in four seasons.
Guardiola dedicated the victory to Abidal, who had his surgery about a year after having a tumor removed from the same organ..
"We're very pleased to be able to dedicate this victory to Abidal and his cousin Gerard. It's a special day because we knew that he was in surgery," Guardiola said.
"We're very pleased because it's never easy against such a defensive team. We found our patience, and we scored fairly early, we created goalscoring chances ... we controlled the match. It's very difficult to attack a team that defends with nine players."
Sanchez opened the scoring in the 13th minute after being put through by Lionel Messi.
Argentina star Messi got on the scoresheet himself just before halftime with Chile forward Sanchez adding his second in the 73rd minute, while Pedro rounded off the scoring a minute later to complete the rout.
Supporters in the Nou Camp paid a special tribute to the 32-year-old Abidal in the 22nd minute of the match -- the same number as his squad shirt.
Barcelona announced on March 15 that Abidal would have a liver transplant "in the coming weeks."
Last year he made a remarkable recovery from his cancer removal and helped Barcelona lift the European Champions League trophy after beating Manchester United in the final.
The France international had made 20 appearances for Barcelona this season before news emerged of his impending operation.
In Tuesday's other action, Osasuna consolidated sixth place with a 2-0 win over Espanyol that lifted the Pamplona-based club four points clear of their opponents and Atletico.
Real Sociedad drew 1-1 at home to Real Betis, a result which left both teams comfortably clear of the relegation zone.
Part of complete coverage on
NN World Sport examines why racism continues to be a problem in football and what is being done to tackle discrimination.
June 13, 2013 -- Updated 1207 GMT (2007 HKT)
Germany's Under-21s may bowed out of the European Championship Finals in Israel this week, but their experiences left a lasting impression.
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
CNN's James Masters has had a close look at the next generation of European football stars at the U21 championship in Israel.
June 6, 2013 -- Updated 1425 GMT (2225 HKT)
A former Palestinian player, once held without charge for three years, is campaigning for a boycott of Israel's staging of a major European tournament.
May 23, 2013 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
When Germany's two biggest soccer clubs go head-to-head in the Champions League final, there can only be one winner: German industry.
May 22, 2013 -- Updated 1356 GMT (2156 HKT)
The Bundesliga model of sustainability is very much in vogue. But are Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund creating a dangerous duopoly?
May 23, 2013 -- Updated 1015 GMT (1815 HKT)
CNN takes an exclusive look at the venue of the Champions League final between Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.
May 17, 2013 -- Updated 1710 GMT (0110 HKT)
David Beckham embraced his tag as a "gay icon" and has been credited with breaking the big taboo -- homosexuality in football.
May 13, 2013 -- Updated 0750 GMT (1550 HKT)
'King' Alex Ferguson is quitting Manchester United but the $3.17 billion brand will survive, according to experts.
May 7, 2013 -- Updated 1418 GMT (2218 HKT)
Italian football lags behind its other European rivals commercially, but newly-crowned Italian champions Juventus is showing Serie A clubs an example of revival.
April 24, 2013 -- Updated 1434 GMT (2234 HKT)
Luis Suarez's biting of Branislav Ivanovic is the latest episode of moments of madness when soccer stars behave badly.
March 29, 2013 -- Updated 0938 GMT (1738 HKT)
Sunderland's partnership with the Nelson Mandela Foundation is part of its bid to woo the African market.
March 28, 2013 -- Updated 1558 GMT (2358 HKT)
Each year as many as 700 Cameroonian young footballers leave Africa in search of a professional career abroad.
May 6, 2013 -- Updated 1201 GMT (2001 HKT)
Referees across Europe are feeling the heat. Insulted, threatened, chased off the field, attacked, hospitalized and, tragically, killed.
February 26, 2013 -- Updated 1225 GMT (2025 HKT)
Footballers have a battery of physios, fitness trainers and doctors all striving to fine-tune their physique -- but are they missing a trick?
February 26, 2013 -- Updated 1424 GMT (2224 HKT)
No Englishman has won the EPL title in over 20 years, while a leading manager reveals that English coaches are now "not respected abroad."
June 10, 2013 -- Updated 1041 GMT (1841 HKT)
Hardcore Italian football "ultra" Federico is a Lazio supporter who happily admits directing monkey chants at black players.
March 5, 2013 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
When Jupp Heynckes made his Bundesliga debut as a player in 1965, the name of Bayern Munich was a new one for the nascent German league.
February 19, 2013 -- Updated 1902 GMT (0302 HKT)
Football's world governing body FIFA has confirmed it will use goal-line technology at the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
February 19, 2013 -- Updated 1403 GMT (2203 HKT)
Match-fixing has become a worldwide issue, with hundreds of matches under investigation -- but how do you actually fix a football game?
February 11, 2013 -- Updated 2231 GMT (0631 HKT)
The wealth of owners like Chelsea's Roman Abramovich often fuels success, but for other clubs such backers prove a mixed blessing.
January 30, 2013 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT)
The Secret Footballer reveals the complex issues surrounding racism in the English Premier League.
Today's five most popular stories