Barcelona couldn’t capitalize on the chance to finish the day inside the Top 4 of La Liga but can count themselves fortunate to get a point thanks to a 1-1 draw away to Granada on Saturday. Barça were mediocre throughout the match and even managed to take the lead, but went down to 10 men late and couldn’t survive the pressure of a Granada side that played very well and fully deserved a point — and maybe more.
The first 45 minutes were certainly very competitive, but the quality was lacking from both sides. There was a lot of intensity in the pressing and a lot of stoppages, but there were very few real chances. Barça had most of the possession but struggled to break down a well-organized Granada defense, and some bad passing and decision-making in the final third didn’t help either.
Barça did come closer to scoring, however: a beautiful passing move down the left ended with a great header by Luuk De Jong, but the goal was disallowed for a narrow offside on Gavi during the buildup. That was the only real moment of danger from the Blaugrana, who couldn’t create any meaningful offense for the rest of the half.
Granada had their moments on the counter, with the best coming when Darwin Machís forced a good save out of Marc-André ter Stegen. But the home team never really looked like scoring, and neither defense looked truly in trouble.
At halftime, Barça were getting a point on the road but had a good shot at all three if they found a way to improve offensively in the final period.
The game remained very much in the balance to start the second half, but Barça went ahead before the 60th minute thanks to a sensational cross by Dani Alves and a great header by Luuk De Jong. Barça struggled to grab hold of the game after going ahead and Granada really grew into the match despite going behind.
The home team really started pushing for an equalizer and earned a golden chance to really be on top for the last 10 minutes when Gavi made a stupid tackle in midfield and received a second yellow card. Barça were down to 10 men, Granada sent all of their players forward, and the Blaugrana found themselves under crazy pressure at the end.
The Blaugrana survived nine minutes without Gavi, but Granada eventually found the breakthrough: a corner sent into the box hit Sergio Busquets and fell to Antonio Puertas, who was all alone at the far post and fired home the equalizer. There was still time for the home team to find a winner against 10 men and they continued to push forward,
Granada: Maximiano; Quini (Bacca 84’), Díaz (Duarte 68’), Torrente, Neva (Escudero 84’); Puertas, Milla, Gonalons (Montoro 62’), Machís (Collado 68’); Molina, Suárez
Goal: Puertas (89’)
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Alves, Piqué, Eric (Lenglet 54’), Alba; Nico, Busquets, Gavi; Dembélé (Sanz 82’), L. De Jong (Memphis 61’), Jutglà (Ez Abde 61’)
Goal: L. De Jong (57’)
Red Card: Gavi (79’)