Lionel Messi secures La Liga winning debut for Quique Setien at Barcelona

A late goal from Lionel Messi sealed a winning start for new Barcelona boss Quique Setien in a tight 1-0 victory at home to Granada.

Despite controlling the game, the home side struggled to break down their resilient visitors, until Messi's late intervention lifts them back above Real Madrid to the top of the La Liga table.

Barcelona dominated possession in the opening stages, with teenage striker Ansu Fati and Arturo Vidal both forcing strong saves from Granada keeper Rui Silva. 

Messi also came close to breaking the deadlock in the first half, with a curling free kick just over the bar on 28 minutes, and a fierce drive that flew into the side netting just before the break.

The hosts continued to carry all of the attacking threat in the second half, with Vidal rounding Silva on 54 minutes, but he was unable to find the back of the net from a tight angle.

However, with Barcelona unable to find a way through the Granada resistance, Diego Martinez's side gave a reminder of their threat on the counter attack, as Yan Eteki struck the post just before the hour mark.

The visitors task was made even harder on 64 minutes, as defender German Sanchez was shown a second yellow card for a trip on Messi just outside the area.

But with Granada put 10 men behind the ball in closing stages, Barcelona need a moment of magic from their skipper to secure a vital three points.

Antoine Griezmann's through ball was latched on to by Vidal, and the Chilean international's clever flick found Messi in space inside the box, and he calmly slotted the winner beyond Silva.

Setien's side almost grabbed a late second in the dying stages, but SIlva reacted well to save from Messi, before Griezmann cured another effort off target.

Tags Lionel Messi Quique Setien
La Liga - Club News