Barcelona faced Granada at Camp Nou this evening with the chance to go top of La Liga with a win. The Blaugrana went into the game a point clear of fourth-placed Sevilla, level with second-placed Real Madrid and two behind Atletico Madrid, with a game in hand on all three. Victory this evening would have been a big step toward the title for Ronald Koeman’s men, only for Granada to spoil the party with a shock 2-1 win.
It had started so well. Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann combined superbly in the 24th minute to give the Blaugrana an invaluable early lead. Griezmann supplied Messi after a smart turn, with the Argentine seamlessly slotting on his favoured left foot to break the Andalusian resistance and get the Catalans off to an excellent start.
Granada got back on level terms, however, in the 63rd minute, when Venezuelan forward Darwin Machis broke through on goal and finished accurately. Things went from bad to worse for Barcelona minutes later, when Koeman was sent off by the referee, before Jorge Molina turned the tie on its head ten minutes from time with a goal that put Granada into a 2-1 lead that could potentially destabilise Barcelona’s title challenge.
“We’re very sad at the moment,” Frenkie de Jong said post-game in comments carried by Marca. “It’s normal, and tomorrow will be the same. Then, we have to get up and continue to fight until the end. We have to keep working. In the first half we were good, and we continued to try to create danger in the second half, but it was difficult. They defended very well, and twice they shot, twice they scored.”