Barcelona Granada stun 12 at Camp Nou La Prensa Latina Media
Barcelona coach Koeman on red card – Ref disrespected me Thu, 29 Apr 2021 11:00:00 -0700-Barcelona, Apr 29 (EFE).- The names of Darwin Machis and Jorge Molina will be etched into the minds of Granada supporters after Thursday's 1-2 victory over …
Barcelona, Apr 29 (EFE).- The names of Darwin Machis and Jorge Molina will be etched into the minds of Granada supporters after Thursday’s 1-2 victory over Barcelona, who looked set to go top of LaLiga on the strength of Lionel Messi’s goal in the first half.
The Venezuelan international and the 39-year-old Spaniard led Granada to their first LaLiga win in 26 visits to Camp Nou.
For Barcelona and their fans, the game with Granada looked like the perfect opportunity for the Blaugrana to vault ahead of Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid.
The Catalan club came into Thursday’s contest having beaten Granada in 17 of their last 19 matches.
But instead of leading LaLiga with 74 points, one more than Atletico, Barça remain third. Though they are level on points with reigning champions Real Madrid at 71, the Blancos have the edge on head-to-head record.
Barcelona, who would end the game with 82 percent possession, dominated from the start.
Jordi Alba fired over the cross-bar on a chance to put the hosts ahead in the 9th minute and Antoine Griezmann forced a stop from Granada goalkeeper Aaron Escandell in the 19th.
The breakthrough for the home side came in the 23rd minute, when Messi got the ball to Griezmann in the area and the Frenchman put the return pass in the Argentine’s path for a lethal strike just inside the far post.
The Barcelona captain boosted his LaLiga scoring total for the season to 26 goals.
Escandell denied Messi in the 36th minute before dealing easily with Samuel Umtiti’s effort off the ensuing corner.
Griezmann was off target with a shot two minutes into the second half.
With the score still 1-0 at the hour mark, Granada coach Diego Martinez withdrew Roberto Soldado in favor of the veteran Molina, who made his presence felt in the 63rd with a good ball into the Barcelona zone.
Oscar Mingueza failed to clear and Machis evaded Sergi Roberto before beating keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen to level the game at 1-1.
Barça coach Ronald Koeman let his temper get the better of him in an exchange of words with the referee, who showed the Dutchman a red card and sent him to the stands in the 67th minute.
The visitors took the lead in the 79th minute with Molina’s header off a cross from Adrian Marin, who came on seconds earlier for Machis.
Granada hung on to claim all 3 points and 2021 Copa del Rey winners Barcelona were left to contemplate a race for the LaLiga title in which they no longer control their own destiny. EFE
Granada stun Barcelona 1-2 at Camp Nou – La Prensa Latina Media Thu, 29 Apr 2021 11:00:00 -0700-Ronald Koeman says he was disrespected by the fourth official after being sent off as Barcelona crashed to a 2-1 defeat to Granada on Thursday.
Koeman's frustrations boiled over late on when he was sent to the stands by referee Pablo Gonzalez Fuertes after a confrontation with the fourth official. Fuerte's match report said he dismissed the Dutch coach for saying “What a character” to his assistant following repeated warnings about his behaviour.
“According to the report I disrespected the fourth official,” Koeman said in his postgame news conference. “I don't understand because I didn't insult him at all. If anything, the way he spoke to me was disrespectful.
“I spoke to him about various incidents but always respectfully. I'd like to know what words I supposedly used because I didn't say anything ugly. It's incredible. But if the fourth official wants to be the centre of attention…”
Pending an appeal, Koeman will be unable to sit on the bench for Barca's next two games against Valencia and Atletico Madrid as the La Liga title race moves into the final stretch.
Even a draw against Granada would have kept Barca's fate in their own hands, given they host Atletico on May. 8, but they're now dependent on Madrid dropping points as Los Blancos have the superior head-to-head record between the two teams.
Koeman blamed the shock defeat to Granada on sloppiness in defence.
“We dominated the first half and should have scored one or two more so we could relax a bit more at the end of the game,” Koeman added.
“Analysing the two goals we conceded, it was down to a lack of concentration in defence. That's what's cost us the points. We didn't defend well, cut out passes or close down spaces.
“It's a big disappointment. It's a setback because we don't depend on ourselves anymore. We have to pick ourselves up, look at what we've done wrong here and then prepare for a crucial game on Sunday [at Valencia].”
Messi's 26th goal of the La Liga campaign looked to have set Barca on track for the top but he missed the chance to double his side's lead and Antoine Griezmann, who brilliantly set up Messi's goal, also missed a good opening early in the second half.
“It's a bad day,” defender Jordi Alba said. “We tried until the end, but we weren't clinical. It was a unique opportunity to go top and now we don't depend on ourselves anymore.
“[Granada] basically got forward twice and scored twice. I think we have to kill games off sooner. This is a big blow, but we must win our remaining five games now. There's nothing else for it.”
– April 29, 2021
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