Barca does not give up in LaLiga and achieved a triumph that consolidates its climb. Two doublets by Messi, on the rise, and Griezmann, who needed an afternoon like this, sentenced a strange game that Koeman’s team settled before the break without having made a great first half, which allowed the coach to give players like Messi, Pedri or De Jong in the final stretch. The Barca team, who once again did not play as a Barca player but as a black player, achieved their third consecutive victory in the League and have already accumulated four consecutive starts winning.
The news of the start was on the board:
Umtiti formed a central team with Mingueza. Araujo felt discomfort in the warm-up and Koeman had to resort to a completely unprecedented defensive duo. Umtiti resolved the ballot reasonably well, above all thanks to the firmness of a growing Mingueza that did not shrink from Soldado’s seniority or the difficulties of commitment.
Three plays conditioned by the interpretation of the regulations by the referee set the course for a game that Barça had not faced excessively well from the start against a pressing Granada that, however, did not show the ability to react to adversity. The Andalusian team was surpassed in the center of the field by Barça and, except for Puertas, they barely had the lucidity to disturb Ter Stegen.
The start of Barca was bad.
In the second minute, Ter Stegen had already been forced to avoid the 1-0 in a shot from Puertas after a risky pass from De Jong to Busquets that led to a loss. However, it was actually the only clear opportunity for the locals before Barca took good advantage of their approaches to the Nasrid area. Maximum effectiveness.
The inflection point
When he was painting a sullen game difficult to digest Griezmann opened the scoring. He scored offside, but the position was enabled because the ball came from a defective rejection by Soldado on a pass from Sergio Busquets. It was not a rebound, but an intentional clearance by the Granada striker which enabled the French forward despite his offside position. De Burgo’s first interpretation of the regulation correct.
Despite the advantage on the scoreboard, the Barcelona team lacked the precision and lucidity to keep Granada subdued. Some losses resulted in a ball that Soldado crossed too much or in a one-on-one by Puertas with Ter Stegen that resolved the German goal, although the play was invalidated by offside.
But then came the second decisive action. And with controversy. Recovery with a clear hand by Sergio Busquets which the referee interpreted as involuntary generated a very comfortable transition on the highway from Griezmann with a pass on the front to Messi, who outlined and launched an impressive left-footed shot that slipped through the squad. The regulation specifies that the involuntary hand must be penalized when the goal is immediate. It was not, because Griezmann traveled more than midfield before giving it to Messi. And that’s what De Burgos interpreted. The hand of Busquets, however, seems clear and punishable from the start. The less debatable move
Messi breaks his drought in the fouls
Messi scored his second goal Barca’s third, in a direct free-kick caused by Pedri, pushed by Foulquier in front as he was preparing to receive a cross from Dembele. Although these fouls often go unnoticed, Foulquier was unlucky that De Burgos Bengoetxea was well placed and saw it. More complaints from Granada, unjustified this time. Leo broke a long drought in free-kicks with a low shot, below the jump of the barrier, by the firing line in which Mingueza was located to disturb the rear.
In a second-half start very different from the first,
in which Barça hid the ball from Granada through long possessions, a chopped pass from Dembélé to Griezmann, inside the area, allowed the Frenchman to control with his left and, after a bounce, splicing on the right in remarkable technical detail. A goal that completed an essential double for the confidence of the French striker.
De Burgos Bengoetxea accentuated Granada’s anger when they sent Vallejo off for a foul on Braithwaite for a foul on the edge of the area as he was about to enter. Vallejo came in from behind and the referee understood that it was an obvious goal opportunity.