Skip to main content

Pedro hat-trick rescues weakened Barcelona

December 22, 2013 -- Updated 2240 GMT (0640 HKT)
Barcelona had reason to celebrate Sunday, coming back to beat Getafe 5-2 to return to the summit in La Liga.
Barcelona had reason to celebrate Sunday, coming back to beat Getafe 5-2 to return to the summit in La Liga.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Barcelona beats Getafe 5-2 to replace Atletico Madrid atop Spain's La Liga
  • Getafe took a 2-0 lead at home but a Pedro hat-trick gave Barca a halftime advantage
  • Barcelona won despite missing the likes of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Xavi
  • Juventus maintained its five-point lead over Roma in Italy's Serie A

(CNN) -- When Barcelona trailed Getafe 2-0 on the road in La Liga on Sunday, things looked bleak for the defending champion.

It was still without talisman Lionel Messi and there was no Neymar, either, because the Brazilian was suspended. Midfield playmaker Xavi was the latest player to join the injury list.

But Barcelona still had Pedro, and the Spanish international forward netted a first half hat-trick to inspire a comeback 5-2 victory. Cesc Fabregas accounted for Barca's two other goals.

As a result Barcelona returned to first place on goal difference ahead of Atletico Madrid heading into the Christmas break. Atletico had rallied itself on Saturday, beating Levante 3-2.

"We maintained our form despite being down two goals and we ended up playing a really good game," Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino was quoted as saying by the club website.

Sergio Escudero and Lisandro Lopez gave Madrid-based Getafe the perfect start, scoring in the 10th and 14th minutes, respectively.

Not long after, however, Pedro took over with his nine-minute treble.

Fabregas set up his chip in the 34th minute, Pedro curled a shot into the top corner in the 41st and two minutes later he pounced from close range.

Pedro has scored in his last four starts and boosted his league tally to 10 to pass Messi for the team lead.

"He has a great capacity to score," said Martino. "Not only with Barca but with Spain as well. He never gives up. It doesn't matter if he's a starter or if he comes into the match as a sub, he doesn't give up."

Getafe -- which won four straight games in September and October but was thumped 7-0 by Atletico last month -- almost equalized early in the second half through Diego Castro.

That was its last real opportunity.

Pedro assisted on Fabregas' effort in the 68th minute and was subsequently fouled in the box.

Fabregas made no mistake from the spot in the 72nd minute.

Real Madrid later downed Valencia 3-2 away to once again pull within five points of the leaders.

Some would say Madrid was fortunate, since Cristiano Ronaldo's goal in the 40th minute might have been offside and Jese's winner in the 82nd came when Vicente Guaita was beaten at the near post.

A calf injury sidelined blockbuster summer signing Gareth Bale but his replacement, Angel di Maria, opened the scoring for Madrid.

Easy for Juve

Honeymoon over for Gareth Bale, Madrid
José Mourinho's press conference antics

In Italy, Juventus has responded in the best possible fashion in Serie A after being knocked out of the Champions League.

It thumped Sassuolo 4-0 thanks to a Carlos Tevez hat-trick and the striker scored again in Sunday's 4-1 win at Atalanta.

Atalanta did have some reason to celebrate -- Maximiliano Moralez's goal in the 15th minute was the first the Old Lady conceded in the league in nine matches.

Roma kept pace, staying five points behind the defending champion, with a 4-0 win over last-place Catania.

Although still unbeaten in Serie A, Roma had drawn five of its six previous encounters.

In the Milan derby, a backheel four minutes from time from Rodrigo Palacio saw Inter prevail over AC Milan 1-0.

Inter rose to fifth but is 15 points behind Juventus, while Milan is only five points above the relegation zone.

To add to Milan's misery, Sulley Muntari received a red card in injury time.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
December 16, 2014 -- Updated 1123 GMT (1923 HKT)
After 20 years, more than 300 goals and a host of major honors, Thierry Henry has called time on his glittering football career.
December 19, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
They do things differently at Sociedad Deportiva Eibar, up in the mist-cloaked valleys of the Basque country. And it is working.
December 10, 2014 -- Updated 1353 GMT (2153 HKT)
He might be struggling to score goals for Liverpool, but Mario Balotelli's cheeky tweet about the British monarch hit the spot during the World Cup.
October 28, 2014 -- Updated 1253 GMT (2053 HKT)
How Real Madrid's new stadium will look
They splash the cash on the world's best players, now Real Madrid are giving the Bernabeu the same treatment with a bling makeover.
October 27, 2014 -- Updated 1309 GMT (2109 HKT)
Football world mourns South African captain Senzo Meyiwa who was shot and killed during a botched robbery in a township near Johannesburg.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1348 GMT (2148 HKT)
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
October 21, 2014 -- Updated 1622 GMT (0022 HKT)
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
October 17, 2014 -- Updated 1411 GMT (2211 HKT)
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
October 18, 2014 -- Updated 1819 GMT (0219 HKT)
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1247 GMT (2047 HKT)
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
October 16, 2014 -- Updated 1034 GMT (1834 HKT)
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
October 13, 2014 -- Updated 2241 GMT (0641 HKT)
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
October 10, 2014 -- Updated 1310 GMT (2110 HKT)
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
October 2, 2014 -- Updated 1453 GMT (2253 HKT)
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
September 10, 2014 -- Updated 1328 GMT (2128 HKT)
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT