Barcelona hosted Granada at Camp Nou this evening, with a win putting them on top of La Liga. With a game in hand on all three, the Blaugrana were a point ahead of fourth-placed Sevilla, level with second-placed Real Madrid, and two behind Atletico Madrid. Ronald Koeman’s side would have taken a big step towards the title if they had won this evening, but Granada spoiled the party with a 2-1 win.
It had gotten off to such a promising start. In the 24th minute, Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann combined brilliantly to give Barcelona an early advantage. After a deft turn, Griezmann found Messi, who slotted the ball into his preferred left foot to break the Andalusian resistance and put the Catalans ahead.
In the 63rd minute, however, Granada equalized when Venezuelan forward Darwin Machis broke through on goal and finished well. Things got even worse for Barcelona minutes later when Koeman was sent off by the referee, before Jorge Molina turned the match around ten minutes from time with a goal that gave Granada a 2-1 lead, potentially jeopardizing Barcelona’s title hopes.
“I think we dominated the game,” Koeman said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “We didn’t score the second goal that would have given us peace of mind. Analysing the goals against, they came from a lack of concentration from our defence.
“It’s cost us two points. Defensively we weren’t right and it’s cost us the match. Of course it’s a disappointing result, a very tough one as we depended on ourselves. We have to analyse it. Sunday’s game will be crucial for our season.”
Koeman also addressed his red card, which means he’ll miss Barcelona’s games against Valencia and Atletico Madrid due to a touchline ban. “I wasn’t in the wrong,” he said. “According to the minutes, I disrespected the fourth official and it wasn’t like that. A lack of respect is to insult, and it wasn’t like that. We commented on several plays during the match in a respectful way. I want to know what words I’ve used to disrespect him. I didn’t use a bad word once.”
Source: Football Espana