Granada 0-4 Barcelona Move third in LaLiga Santander
With presidential elections on the horizon, Barcelona‘s upturn in form in LaLiga Santander is very welcome indeed.
One of the candidates running for office at the Camp Nou, is famous for a phrase he uttered during his first term as president.
“Watch out, we’re not too bad!” Joan Laporta said in April 2008, a season before Pep Guardiola took charge.
A turnaround quite up to that standard is difficult but, on the evidence of Saturday night’s display, all is not doom and gloom at Barcelona.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called into action sooner than he would’ve liked but pulled off an impressive stop to keep out Antonio Puertas. The Granada forward struck his effort with power and height, only to see Barcelona’s goalkeeper stick out his left glove.
Lionel Messi is back where he belongs – at the top of the Pichichi standings. The Argentine scored twice against Granada to move on to 11 goals in LaLiga Santander this season.
Ronald Koeman‘s injury problems mounted up at Nuevo Los Carmenes. Firstly, Ronald Araujo suffered an injury in the warm up and was replaced in the team by Samuel Umtiti, who also suffered a muscle problem himself during the first half, although he was able to continue.
Antoine Griezmann certainly enjoyed his trip to Granada. The French international scored for the first time since December 2 when he found the bottom corner in the first half. His finish from Ousmane Dembele‘s pass in the second half was even more exquisite. He’s now scored at Nuevo Los Carmenes with Real Sociedad, Atletico Madrid and Barcelona.
Sergio Busquets brought up the milestone of 600 appearances for Barcelona in all competitions. The 32-year-old first joined the club in 2005 and has been an ever present in the first time since his emergence under Guardiola.
Diego Martinez opted to bring on Jesus Vallejo at half time to quell Barcelona’s attacking threats. However, the Real Madrid loanee was sent off for a foul on Martin Braithwaite with around half an hour to go.
Barcelona are rubbing shoulders with the elite clubs in LaLiga Santander again. The Catalans are third in the table and, even though they’ve played three fewer games than Atletico Madrid, everything is possible in terms of a title push.