Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona shockingly fell 2-1 to Granada at Camp Nou on Thursday night as the Ronald Koeman’s men missed the chance to go top of the league.
Granada did not offer much threat in the opening 45 minutes, as they failed to register even one shot on target.
But a strike from Darwin Machis in the 63rd minute and a Jorge Molina header in the 74th minute completed a spectacular comeback from the visitors.
Without detracting from the success and hard-work of Granada, the errors made by the Barcelona defence were the turning points of the game, as they allowed Granada back into the contest which they had controlled before half time, with Oscar Mingueza making the first error when he failed to clear his lines.
For the second goal, the visiting forward, Molina, was able to get into the box unopposed by Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti.
It wasn’t clear what Ronald Koeman said to Gonzalez Fuertes but it earned him a straight red card.
It would be necessary to see what the referee puts in his report, as well as what Koeman would say in his press conference, but it was clear that the former Feyenoord coach lost his cool.
He made constant claims to the officials, which put him in the spotlight, and he was unable to direct his team from the bench.
Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets was the heartbeat for Barcelona against Granada, as he combined the responsibility of being a stopper in midfield and conducting play.
He was responsible for Barcelona having 82 percent possession, although it wasn’t enough to avoid a defeat. He played several probing passes from midfield, but the best version of the veteran wasn’t enough.
The Griezmann-Messi connection paid off again, with the Frenchman adding his seventh assist of the season, whilst the Argentine scoring his 26th goal of the campaign.
Messi already has 33.7 percent of his team’s goals this season in LaLiga Santander, and he leads Karim Benzema and Gerard Moreno in the Pichichi race by five and six, respectively.
Barcelona ended Matchday 33 in third with 71 points, which is the same as Real Madrid, but two points behind Atletico Madrid.
They are in the title race, but their ambitions have been somewhat halted by Thursday’s defeat, although the club has remarkably been in the race despite never having been in the first place.
Meanwhile, Granada’s win boosted their hopes of reaching the Europa League places
Lionel Messi had given the hosts the lead when he combined with Antoine Griezmann before slotting into the far corner.
The team missed several opportunities to add to their lead before Darwin Machis drove in the equaliser in the second half, while substitute Jorge Molina, headed in the winner for the visitors later on.
Victory would have put Barcelona one point clear at the top of the table with five games to go but instead, they stay third, two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid and level with Real Madrid.
Barcelona and Atletico Madrid meet in what looks set to be a crunch battle in the title race on Saturday, 8 May.
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