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FC Barcelona News: 1 March 2015: Barça Close Gap On Real Madrid, B Team Lose Again

While the senior squad were able to get back on track in league action with a win against Granada, Barça B slipped to another defeat, this time falling 2-4 against Real Mallorca

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno/Getty Images

A workmanlike performance from Barça against relegation-threatened Granada resulted in the perfect response to last week’s setback at home to Málaga. A thoroughly deserved 3-1 win keeps the Catalans well in the hunt for the Liga title. The only downside to a fine performance from Barça was a yellow card for Neymar, which means he’ll be suspended against Rayo Vallecano.

Luis Enrique described the three points in Granada as an ‘objective fulfilled’, telling his post-match press conference that “this away win was very important after a tough Champions League match. Our aim was to get back within a point of the leaders, and that’s what we’ve done.”

Ivan Rakitic was delighted with the 3-1 win in Granada against an opponent that didn’t make things easy for FC Barcelona. “It is important to keep getting points” he said. “It was a very difficult match and Granada created a lot of problems for us. But we did a good job and I think we deserved the win … The pitch wasn’t easy to play on but we managed to make our identity show and worked hard from start to finish. We have to keep improving but we’re on the right track”.

Barça B lost to Mallorca despite getting Saturday evening’s game back to 2-2 with 20 minutes to play. A controversial penalty put the visitors ahead just when Barça B were playing their best football and Marco Asensio finished off the job for Mallorca. The loss leaves the reserves in the relegation zone with 28 points.

Almeria held on to claim a goalless draw at home to fellow strugglers Deportivo La Coruna after playing most of the second half of their Primera Division clash with 10 men. Striker Koulossa Thievy was dismissed for second bookable offence in the 55th minute to leave his side a man down for a large part of the game. However, despite Depor's best efforts, the sides could not be separated thanks to a lack of clinical finishing, meaning the game ended goalless.

Claudio Bravo had an extra reason to celebrate the 3-1 win in Granada. It was his 197th Liga appearance, meaning he has broken the Chilean record that was previously held by Iván Zamorano. Bravo played 172 of those games for Real Sociedad between 2006 and 2014, and the other 25 were for FC Barcelona this season. Having conceded just 15 goals, he is currently top of the ranking for the Zamora award.

Malaga held on following a second-half brace from Getafe's Alvaro Vazquez as they recorded a 3-2 victory at La Rosaleda on Saturday night. The result sees Javi Gracia's men remain seventh in the Primera Division standings, while their opponents dropped down a spot into 14th following their defeat.

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