Barcelona waste golden opporunity to go top with loss to Granada

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images)
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP) (Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images) /

Granada pulled off a shock upset over Barcelona at the Camp Nou.

Barcelona had their destiny in their hands. Win at home against Granada and the side managed by Ronald Koeman would go top of the table.

Just like we’ve seen over the past couple of seasons, when it comes down to crunch time, Barcelona fell short as Granada came from behind to win 2-1 to stun the Catalans.

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Early on, Barcelona looked to have things under control.  A lovely one-two between Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi put them ahead in the 22nd minute of the first half. The Argentinian later on had a chance to score a brace but the Granada keeper just got his fingertips to the ball.

The second half was more of the same with Barcelona dominating possession, creating goal scoring opportunities but failing to finish.

The lack of being clinical in front of goal cost them Granada equalized in the 63rd minute as Oscar Mingueza’s attempt to cut off a pass went awry, landing to Darwin Machis whose shot went past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

With Barcelona all over the place, a cross was sent in from Granada’s left to an unmarked Jorge Molina who headed the second, and winning, goal.

Koeman’s second half changes once again proved ineffective and appeared to destabilize a team who, up until the equalizer, was playing well. His game management has left a lot to be desired and has now possibly cost the club a chance at a league title.

He also managed to get himself sent off and is unlikely to be on the bench in their weekend match away to Valencia.

With five games to go, every game now becomes a must win. Not only that but they now need Real Madrid to stumble at least once. If the don’t and Barcelona beat Atletico Madrid and Los Blancos win out, then it would be them who are crowned champions. As it stands, they are tied with Barcelona but hold the head-to-head tie breaker.

Barcelona were presented with a golden opportunity taking on a Granada team who had never won at the Camp Nou. They were unable to take advantage and are now dealt a huge blow in their title hope aspirations.

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Their next game doesn’t get any easier as they will be taking on the aforementioned Valencia. They won’t have much time to dwell on the loss. They can either pick themselves up from it or it’s the start of things going downhill.