Barcelona missed the chance to move to the top of La Liga as Granada produced a sensational second half comeback to claim a 2-1 win at Camp Nou.
Ronald Koeman’s side had won 15 of their last 17 league matches, a run which has seen them enter title contention, but two goals in 16 minutes from Granada keeps the Catalans in third place, two points off Atletico Madrid and level on points with Real Madrid.
A strong start by Barca saw them take a firm grip of the game early on and that dominance was reflected in the opener Messi scored after 23 minutes, firing across goal and into the far corner of the net after an intricate move on the edge of the box.
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Messi should have doubled his tally just moments later, but was thwarted by Granada goalkeeper Aaron Escandell who tipped a shot from a one-on-one situation around the post.
Barcelona continued to dominate, but Granada found a surprise equaliser against the run of play after 63 minutes when Darwin Machis broke in behind to squeeze home a finish at the near post.
Koeman was shown a red card on the touchline as frustration got the better of him and his mood wasn’t helped by what soon followed, with Granada taking a shock lead through Jorge Molina, who lost his marker to head a winner past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
TALKING POINT - Ronald Koeman’s defensive rotation cost Barcelona dear
This wasn’t meant to happen. Barcelona controlled the majority of this match, they had the lead, but somehow allowed all three points to slip through their fingers. Koeman’s decision to rotate his defence cost his side dearly as both Sergi Roberto and Samuel Umtiti showed their rustiness for both Granada goals. There was some logic behind Koeman’s selection, with fixtures coming thick and fast for Barca, but a more familiar back four might have seen the Catalans over the line, and to the top of La Liga, here.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Darwin Machis (Granada)
Granada barely had a touch of the ball in the first 45 minutes, but the dynamic of the match shifted in the second half and much of this was down to the performance of Machis. The Venezuelan gave Gerard Pique and Umtiti all sorts of problems, ghosting between the two Barcelona centre backs to head home the winner. Victor Diaz also deserves recognition for the performance he produced down the right side.
Barcelona - Ter Stegen 6, Roberto 4, Mingueza 5, Pique 5, Umtiti 4, Alba 5, Busquets 8, De Jong 7, Ilaix 7, Messi 7, Griezmann 6. Subs - Dembele 5, Trincao 3, Pedri 4.
Granada - Aaron 7, Foulquier 6, Diaz 8, Nehuen 6, German 6, Quini 5, Eteki 6, Yangel 5, Soldado 7, Machis 8, Suarez 6. Subs - Marin 5, Molina 7, Gonalons 6, Vico 5.
23’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Granada: Barcelona have the lead and what a goal that was from Messi! Griezmann played the pass through to the Argentine in tight space and the great man made no mistake in striking across the goalkeeper and into the far corner of the net!
37’ Messi is through... wide! That should have been a second Barcelona goal! Busquets played the pass through from deep, Messi was one-on-one with Aaron, but his shot is deflected just wide of the far post!
63’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Granada: Out of nowhere, Granada have equalised! Barcelona are made to rue not scoring a second goal as the away side break in behind and Machis finds the back of the net, squeezing in a finish at the near post! That wasn't in the script!
66’ Koeman sent off! The Barcelona manager has had a bit too much to say to the referee and he has been shown a red card. Koeman is known for his anger on the touchline.
79’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-2 Granada: What is going on? Barcelona have thrown away the lead here! Granada have incredibly turned this around! The cross was played into the box from the left wing, Molina drifted away from the two centre backs and heads into the back of the net! Wow!
Lionel Messi has more goals in 2021 than any other player in Europe's top five leagues.
Before this match, Granada had lost each of their last 24 matches against Barcelona at Camp Nou.
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