With Real Madrid’s win yesterday, it was confirmed that Barca would have to win against Granada to realistically sustain their dream of repeating as champions of La Liga.
A win would bring Barca 8 points behind Madrid once again, a draw or a loss would only make things more complicated than Barca would like. So let’s see how Barca fared in tough spot, needing a win, and a convincing one at that to hush the noise surrounding the club at this moment.
The first half — or better yet, the first opening 15 minutes or so — saw Barca dictate the tempo of the match early on.
Crisp passing, plenty of movement in the attack, and a drive to win the ball back quickly after losing possession were all on display in the small opening phase of the match.
As a result of their hard work, Barca was rewarded with an early goal.
Lamine Yamal opens the scoring
After some wonderful work by Joao Cancelo, he cut back in Granada’s penalty area, before lofting a cross towards the back post of Granada’s net. All there was left was for a man to find the end of it and that’s exactly what happened, as it was Lamine Yamal with the easy finish to put Barca up 1-0.
Pretty goal worked by Barca and an important early one as well.
But the joy wasn’t long lived, as Granada found the game’s second goal towards the end of the first half, with Ricard Sánchez striking a ball past Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s near post.
We went into halftime with a 1-1 scoreline, with Barca finding life a bit more difficult against 19th place Granada as the first half wore on. But there was still another 45 minutes to go, plenty of time for Barca to take control of the match an erase the doubt created in the first half.
Or plenty of time for Barca to instill more doubt, you never know with this club match to match.
The second half was….chaotic for starters.
There were 4 combined goals in the second 45 minute frame, which led to a rather attractive spectacle for neutral fans alike. The first goal of the second half was scored by Manchester United loanee Facundo Pellistri, as he knocked home one of the easiest goals of his life.
Which was a clear shot on an open net.
2-1 was the lead for Granada at this point, but not for long, as Robert Lewandowski equalized just 3 minutes later to bring the score level once again.
At this point, it felt like the match was out of control. Barca were losing possession too easily, there wasn’t enough intensity to win possession back, there were too many lapses defensively — a common occurrence for Barca these days — it just felt like your average, run of the mill back and forth match you’d see between two bottom half clubs in the league.
Barca isn’t a bottom half club, but they sure do play like it don’t they?
Because just 3 more minutes later, Granada took the lead again, this time courtesy of a Ignasi Miguel header that flew past the outstretched arm of Ter Stegen.
There was simply no coherence between Barca at the time, everything appeared to be 2 times more difficult than it should. Criticism has been thrown at Xavi for the mess that has appeared, but these players on the pitch have found it difficult to do the bare minimum.
And that’s a big, big problem for a club that is going through another rough patch.
Yamal scores a brace, but it’s too late
Barca did manage to level the scoreline again, with Lamine Yamal scoring an outrageous goal miles away from goal.
But the goal was too late, as the final minutes were full of Barca scrambling to find a goal, throwing whatever they could towards the net in hopes of erasing the embarrassment that was put on the pitch in front of the home fans.
It was for naught though, as Barca drew 3-3 and dropped points against 19th placed Granada, a club that previously only won points away from their home ground just once, with that opponent being Almeria.
Who stands in 20th place.
This is getting old.
There’s too many underperforming “stars” at this club right now, especially in defense. Too many lapses, too many mistakes, it’s just becoming a mess that can’t possibly be contained until fresh new blood in the coaching ranks can be brought.
That’s the only solution right now, unless the club can bring in new reinforcements. But — spoiler alert — they probably won’t be able to due to FFP margins being razor thin, if that.
Fans blame Xavi, but these players are professionals for goodness sake. The best of the best, the cream of the crop, the top of the top.
There’s no reason we should still be seeing this many mistakes and blunders defensively.
No reason whatsoever.
Barca’s next match
Barca’s next match will be next Saturday against Celta.
See you all then!
I’ve been a big time Barca fan since I was 14 years old. I love the club, the history, and the tradition that the club has built over its prestigious history. Forca Barca!