Barcelona Blew The Chance Of Going Top Of The Spanish La Liga After They Were Stunned By Granada In A Shock 2-1 Defeat

The Catalans were looking to move past Atletico Madrid with a victory at home as Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann started up front in 3-5-2 formation, while the visitors were looking to climb to 8th on the La Liga table.

In the 23rd minute, Messi opened the scoring after linking up with Griezmann. The Frenchman timed his delayed return pass to Messi perfectly and the Argentine fired a low shot past Granada goalkeeper Aaron Escandell and into the far corner of the net.

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (10) fires Barcelona into the lead during La Liga match against Granada.

It was Messi’s 26th goal of the season as he continued to inspire Barcelona. Moments later, Messi found himself one-on-one with Escandell but couldn’t convert his chance as the score remained 1-0 at half-time.

Granada, who had failed to manage even a draw in any of its previous 25 league visits to the Camp Nou, turned the game around in the second half to further change the outlook in the title race.

Darwin Machis equalised for Granada in the 63rd minute when he latched onto a deflected pass and slotted the ball past Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Granada midfielder Darwin Machis (11) scores against Barcelona during La Liga match at the Camp Nou

Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman was then shown a red card in the aftermath of Granada’s equaliser as the hosts dropped to second on the table, a point behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

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Barcelona’s night got worse when Granada completed an unexpected comeback 11 minutes from time when substitute Jorge Molina headed the ball into the net from close range.

The visitors scored with both their shots on target at the Nou Camp, and were looking to cause a huge upset.

Barcelona failed to capitalise on its dominance as the match finished 2-1 to Granada, a result that will undoubtedly be celebrated between the capital clubs Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid.

“We lost our focus in the second half and made errors at the back,” Barcelona coach Koeman said. “We need to accept the fact we’ve lost, that’s the reality of things. We had chances to win the game, but that’s that.”

“We’ve got five more games to go and each of the sides (in the title race) will have difficulties in the schedule. We now need to prepare ourselves for Sunday’s game (away to Valencia). We’re still in the mix and have a chance. We need to accept this, move on and prepare for the next one.”

“We tried but weren’t able to make many chances when they scored their goals. They closed shop well and we couldn’t create,” he added.

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