Back in January I went along to the latest instalment of the historic rivalry between Leganés and Getafe.
It might not have the same glamour as some of Spain’s more traditional big derbies, but this is a keenly-contested one, forged through years of rivalry in the lower leagues as the two clubs fought their way up through the Spanish football pyramid until, in 2017, they faced each other in La Liga for the first time. You can read more about the historic background to erm, El Derbí Histórico, here.
On this occasion, Getafe emerged victorious, which wasn’t much of a surprise – they are enjoying another phenomenal season under the guidance of José Bordalás while Leganés have been struggling near the foot of the table all season and went into this game on the back of losing star striker Youssef En-Nesyri to Sevilla.
Getafe were excellent and controlled the game from start to finish. Leganés had no answer to them, especially the interplay between their strike partnership of Molina and Mata. The fact that Molina is playing some of the best football of his career at the age of 37 (he’ll turn 38 before the season is out too) is amazing enough, but the fact that he’s technically older than the club he plays for (Getafe were refounded following financial problems in July 1983) is surely one of the greatest pieces of trivia in modern football.
However, Leganés will be disappointed at how poorly they played. This was a huge game for them, the fans greeted the arrival of the team bus with an amazing display of pyrotechnics, but the players failed to produce any fireworks on the pitch.
For me, the highlight of the night was probably the chorizo sandwich I had at half time!
That’s probably a bit harsh, I enjoyed the performance from Getafe (I really need to get back to the Coliseum to watch them again soon), especially that of former Leganés man Allan Nyom who played like a man possessed. The jeers and whistles from the home fans, especially after an early booking for a clumsy challenge, only served to pump him up even more and when he scored his side’s second goal it’s a wonder he didn’t spontaneously combust. In the end Bordalás subbed him off, probably for his own good and no doubt much to the relief of his former teammates who would no longer have to risk any 50/50 tackles with him.
Here are a few photos from the night.