Skip to main content

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.
Alexis Sanchez of Barcelona celebrates with his teammate Xavi Hernandez after scoring the opener in the Nou Camp.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 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.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
CNN Football Club
Be part of CNN's coverage of European Champions League matches and join the social debate.
April 15, 2014 -- Updated 1523 GMT (2323 HKT)
The 1989 Hillsborough stadium tragedy, which claimed 96 lives, brought the red and the blue halves of Liverpool together.
CNN's Don Riddell says the 1989 Hillsborough tragedy has caused irreparable damage to the families of the 96 victims and the survivors.
April 11, 2014 -- Updated 1244 GMT (2044 HKT)
The Champions league trophy stands on show during the draw for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions league at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon on March 21, 2014. AFP PHOTO/FABRICE COFFRINI (Photo credit should read FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
Two European heavyweights will collide in the Champions League semifinals after Bayern Munich and Real Madrid were drawn together in Switzerland.
March 24, 2014 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
West Bromwich Albion's French striker Nicolas Anelka looks on during the English Premier League football match between West Bromwich Albion and Newcastle United at The Hawthorns in West Bromwich, central England, on January 1, 2014.
England prides itself on being the home of football, but is the nation dysfunctional in dealing with racist abuse?
March 18, 2014 -- Updated 1339 GMT (2139 HKT)
In a city where football is a religion, Liverpool and England striker Daniel Sturridge is fast becoming a deity.
French former football player Zinedine Zidane reacts during the gala football 'Match Against Poverty' organized by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) on March 4, 2014 in Bern.
Some of the biggest names in football lined up for a charity match, but CNN's Tom McGowan wonders if they can help beat poverty.
March 4, 2014 -- Updated 1555 GMT (2355 HKT)
"Everyone is scared about war -- they are very nervous," former Ukraine football star Oleg Luzhny says of the rising tensions with Russia.
February 26, 2014 -- Updated 1807 GMT (0207 HKT)
Bayern Munich's present success rests on one key decision, chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge tells CNN.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 0922 GMT (1722 HKT)
Neymar
"More than a Club." It is an image Barcelona has carefully cultivated, but could the controversial deal to sign Neymar sour that view?
February 1, 2014 -- Updated 1825 GMT (0225 HKT)
Affectionately known as "the wise man of Hortaleza," Luis Aragones -- who died aged 75 -- left the legacy of helping Spain's ascension to the top.
January 23, 2014 -- Updated 2118 GMT (0518 HKT)
Real Madrid hasn't won the European Champions League in over a decade, but the Spanish club is invincible in one field -- making money.
The naming of the world's best footballer is not all that it seems, says CNN's James Masters.
ADVERTISEMENT