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Lacklustre Barcelona blow big title chance against Granada

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Pathetic showing from the hosts

FC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Where do you even start with that horror show?

The brief was simple enough. Win all of your games and you’re champions. Starting with a team that have lost on EVERY SINGLE OCCASION they’ve played at Camp Nou - 24 times in total.

I don’t want to hear about Granada playing 10 men behind the ball, closing the lines, making life difficult for Barca to play their natural game.

The team have some old, experienced heads in there and young bucks looking to make their mark and, frankly, no one was really on it on Thursday night, save for the odd flash from Lionel Messi or Antoine Griezmann.

Sergio Busquets was excellent again but aside from that trio, from a Barcelona perspective, there was precious little to be excited about.

FBL-ESP-LIGA-BARCELONA-GRANADA Photo by LLUIS GENE/AFP via Getty Images

Whilst accepting that rotations need to be made at this stage of the season, Ronald Koeman got it badly wrong with picking Samuel Umtiti.

Everyone knows that his legs have gone and he’s as far from the player we signed as it’s possible to be. Why on earth not start Ronald Araujo if you’re going to drop Clement Lenglet?

It seems clear that the Dutchman felt that the Andalusians wouldn’t present a threat and therefore, Umtiti could be put in the shop window.

However, both goals for Granada were as a result of Umtiti’s pathetic excuse for defending and the club will be lucky to give him away for free at this rate.

On a night where Barcelona needed some invention and spark, there was precious little of it, and even Ousmane Dembele’s introduction came too late to affect proceedings, even if the Frenchman tried his best.

FC Barcelona v Granada CF - La Liga Santander Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

In this column previously, tiredness has been talked about as a potential killer of title ambitions for any of the teams at the top that are still in with a chance. Mental as well as physical tiredness too.

On the night where there was something on the line, Barca failed to show up - again. The Copa del Rey final has been the only ‘big’ game the Catalans have won this season.

It’s about time the team had the Zidane mentality of every game being a final, and played like their lives depended on it.

Complacency was certainly on show, more so after going in 1-0 up at half-time. That type of attitude is truly unforgivable, and it came back to bite the team just as it did against Cadiz earlier in the season.

Unfortunately, things are out of Barca’s hands again now.

They’ll just have to hope that the gods smile on them again over the course of the next five games.