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Barcelona and a Copa del Rey comeback full of character

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Dominance rewarded against Granada

Granada v FC Barcelona - Spanish Copa del Rey Photo by David S. Bustamante/Soccrates/Getty Images

Well that was fun wasn’t it?!

For 88 minutes of the match it looked as if Barca’s complete dominance would go unrewarded, and then, as so often happens, a late chink of light opens the floodgates.

Granada will feel extremely hard done by having been just two minutes away from sending the Blaugranes tumbling out of the competition and, arguably, ending their season in early February.

Their backs-against-the-wall performance deserves some credit and, on another night, they’d have been in the hat for the semi-final and not Ronald Koeman’s side.

Granada v Barcelona - Copa del Rey Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

However, this was a night where, despite the odd mistake, the sloppy passing on occasion and Umtiti being outrun by a 35-year-old Roberto Soldado, Barca should rightly take all of the plaudits.

After the start to the season that the club had, and all of the off-field shenanigans that are still dominating the headlines, this performance will take some beating.

Griezmann - magnificent, Messi - electric, De Jong - sensational, Pedri - incredible (again) and Alba, a delight down the left. (What. A. Volley!)

It really was a comeback for the ages for all manner of reasons but none more so than to say that Barca are still the team to beat when they get their act together.

Domination without a cutting edge or luck in the first hour, their heads never dropped. Every player put in a shift.

That’s the main thing I believe that a lot of cules are starting to notice about this team now. The ‘all for one and one for all’ ethic that was a feature of team’s past has returned.

Granada v Barcelona - Copa del Rey Photo by Quality Sport Images/Getty Images

Koeman has finally lit the blue touch paper and tapped into something. Momentum is building and it’s brilliant to watch.

The turnaround in fortunes since the start of the year hasn’t come about by pure chance, and even if this is to be as far as we go in this season’s tournament, the result will live long in the player’s memories, and ours too.

Just look at the way they celebrated Griezmann’s header and Alba’s volley and then tell me these players don’t care. That they’re not playing for their manager.

There’s still work to do, of course, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I might well have been wrong about Koeman. He is starting to win me over.

It’s been a long time since we’ve had a real ‘feel good’ night like that, and let’s see if Barca can keep this going for a few more games at the very least.