MILAN – It’ll be a first for Inter when they face Getafe in the Europa League round of 16. The first leg will be played at San Siro on 12 March at 21:00 CET, while the second leg will be played on 19 March at 18:55 CET at the Estadio Coliseum Alfonso Pérez (which opened in 1998 and has around 17,000 seats) in Getafe, a city of around 180,000 inhabitants located about ten kilometres south of Madrid.
FIRST TIME EVER
As said, the Nerazzurri have never faced Getafe before, nor have the Spanish team even come up against any Italian club in European competitions. The last time Inter faced a Spanish team in the knockout phase of the Europa League/UEFA Cup was against Valencia in the quarter-final of 2001/02, while the last time the Nerazzurri faced a Spanish team in the knockout phase of any European competition was back in the Champions League semi-final against Barcelona in 2009/10.
GETTING TO KNOW BORDALÁS’ GETAFE
A team’s fame comes from their facts, statistics and rankings. You need to look at all these to get to know José Bordalás’ Getafe side. The coach from Alicante, who led Alaves to promotion to La Liga in 2015, took over this Getafe side in 2016/17 and guided them to promotion to La Liga by winning the playoffs before leading them to two exceptional finishes in the Spanish top flight: eighth then fifth. Getafe are currently fifth in La Liga, one point behind Atletico Madrid and Sevilla who are joint third. For some time now in Spain they have talked about the ‘Bordalás model’ to describe the success that the Spanish side is having. His team plays with a particular style: a physical, direct style of football summed up by the motto “train the way you play”. A demanding style of football which Bordalás achieves through long and hard training sessions, in which there is almost no rest. All this translates into a tough team to face: Getafe’s pass accuracy is low, just over 60%, and their average possession in a game is 43%. On the other hand, their tackling stats stand out with a percentage success rate of over 60%. The Spanish team also lead the ranking of fouls committed with 472 in La Liga (with 84 yellow cards) and 128 in the Europa League (21 yellows and one red).
Getafe’s standard style is a 4-4-2 full of pressing and aggression. Bordalás’ philosophy breeds solidity which lets their three key attackers wreak havoc: the experienced Jorge Molina, the strong Jaime Mata who plays in the Spanish National Team and Angel Rodriguez who often comes off the bench but has scored 14 goals this season. In five of Getafe’s eight Europa League matches this season their ‘keeper has been Leandro Chichizola: an Argentine who has a past in Italy after playing 131 games in Serie B for La Spezia.
GETAFE’S EUROPA LEAGUE JOURNEY
A fifth place finish in the 2018/19 La Liga season guaranteed Getafe Europa League football. The Spanish side finished second in Group C with twelve points, behind Basel and ahead of Krasnodar and Trabzonspor. Then, in the round of 32, they eliminated Ajax over the two-legged tie. They’ve scored eleven goals, conceded six and have kept four clean sheets over eight matches. Only once have Getafe progressed from the round of 16 in a European competition, that was back in the UEFA Cup 2007/08 when their journey came to an end in the quarter-final.
Getafe’s matches in the 2019/20 Europa League:
Getafe 1-0 Trabzonspor; Krasnodar 1-2 Getafe; Getafe 0-1 Basel; Basel 2-1 Getafe; Trabzonspor 0-1 Getafe; Getafe 3-0 Krasnodar; Getafe 2-0 Ajax; Ajax 2-1 Getafe.