Granada 0-4 Barcelona: Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi score a brace each in emphatic win to move visitors up to third in LaLiga – as Jesus Vallejo is sent off for hosts in an evening to forget
- Antoine Griezmann fired Barcelona ahead on 12 minutes with a close-range finish on Saturday evening
- Lionel Messi doubled the Spanish giants’ lead with a curling effort into the top corner on 35 minutes
- Messi made it 3-0 before half-time with a brilliant free-kick that he caressed into the bottom corner
- Griezmann scored his second, and Barca’s fourth, with a right-footed half-volley just after the hour mark
- Things got worse for Granada when Jesus Vallejo was sent off for a professional foul on Martin Braithwaite
Well that didn’t take long – everyone knew a couple of decent games and Lionel Messi would be back among the top scorers in Spain. After four goals in four days he is now LaLiga’s leading scorer.
He was the star of another very good away display from Barcelona who beat Granada 4-0 to back to third in LaLiga.
Barcelona took the lead after 12 minutes when a Sergio Busquets pass intended for Messi was diverted into the path of Antoine Griezmann by Roberto Soldado.
Antoine Griezmann (centre) scores Barcelona’s opening goal during their emphatic 4-0 win over Granada on Saturday
Griezmann celebrates with team-mate Lionel Messi after putting Barcelona ahead on 12 minutes
Messi doubled Barcelona’s lead on 35 minutes with this curling effort following a fine pass from Griezmann
Barcelona’s talisman watches on as his shot bends into the top left-hand corner of the goal to double their advantage
Granada (4-2-3-1): Silva; Foulquier, Duarte, Sanchez, Neva (Vallejo 46); Herrera (Soro 67), Eteki; Diaz, Montoro (Milla 46), Machis (Kenedy 65), Soldado (Suarez 45).
Booked: Soldado, Suarez
Red card: Vallejo
Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen, Dest (Firpo 81), Mingueza, Umtiti, Alba; De Jong (Pjanic 65), Busquets, Pedri (Trincao 73); Dembele (Puig 73), Messi (Braithwaite 65), Griezmann.
Booked: Mingueza, Alba, Busquets
Goals: Griezmann (12 and 63), Messi (37 and 43)
Referee: Ricardo de Burgos
The French forward was offside but with Soldado having given him the ball it did not matter and after originally ruling it out because of the offside flag the referee, Ricardo de Burgos, gave the goal.
There was concern for Barcelona on 24 minutes when Samuel Umtiti went down injured. He was only in the starting line-up because Sergio Araujo had been injured in the warm-up and Barcelona were already without the suspended Clement Lenglet and the long-term injured Gerard Pique.
Umtiti carried on while full back Junior Firpo and midfielder Miralem Pjanic warmed-up. But Barcelona looked increasingly susceptible to Granada attacks. Soldado pulled a shot wide and Marc-Andre ter Stegen saved a long shot from Darwin Machis.
Umtiti stayed on and Messi soon doubled the lead curling a left-foot shot past Rui Silva from just inside the area after being played in by Griezmann. Granada were upset because Busquets had handled in the build-up. It was Messi’s tenth goal of the season keeping him joint top scorer in Spain with Gerard Moreno.
And soon he was out on his own. Ousmane Dembele raced away and tried to cross to Pedri but he had been flattened on the edge of the area by German Sanchez and a free-kick was given.
Messi had not scored from set-piece since last July against Osasuna but 63 attempts after that goal he curled a low shot past Silva to make it 3-0. And that put him on 11 goals for the season.
Granada made three changes at the break and the Colombian Luis Suarez, who had replaced Soldado, soon drew a foul and a booking from the impressive Oscar Mingueza. Antonio Puertas then drew a save from Ter Stegen.
Messi made it 3-0 to the Spanish giants with a brilliantly-taken free-kick that caught the Granada team unawares
Granada goalkeeper Rui Silva was helpless as the Argentine’s shot nestled into his bottom right-hand corner on 43 minutes
On 63 minutes Barcelona got the fourth with a French connection down the left doing for Granada’s tired defenders. Dembele cleverly lifted the ball over the top and when it dropped on Griezmann’s toe he took one touch before sending it past Silva for his second goal of the game.
Now it was definitely all over and that was the cue for Ronald Koeman to make two more changes. The first was a little surprising with Messi’s number 10 held aloft. He looked fully complicit in the decision – that much was clear with Koeman gesturing from the touchline to see if taking him off would be okay. He then needed the protocol for substitutes whispered into his ear on the touchline but he was soon under a blanket and behind a face mask watching Martin Braithwaite in his place. De Jong was also off replaced by Pjanic.
Granada’s misery was complete when Jesus Vallejo was shown a straight red. He was judged the last man after running across Braithwaite on the edge of the area. It was harsh and maybe so was the scoreline on Granada but Barcelona are most definitely back and so is their all time top scorer.
Griezmann confirmed the victory just after the hour mark as he grabbed his second of the game to make it 4-0 to Barca
Things got worse for Granada as Jesus Vallejo (left) was shown a red card for a professional foul on Martin Braithwaite
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