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Messi 6/10 as Barcelona’s La Liga title hopes suffer major blow

Barcelona blew the possibility to maneuver to the highest of La Liga on Thursday as they suffered a shock 2-1 defeat at Camp Nou in opposition to Granada.

Lionel Messi opened the scoring within the twenty third minute however the guests, who’re within the combine for a Europa League place, struck twice within the second half to rock Barca’s title hopes.

Darwin Marchis levelled simply after the hour mark and Jorge Molina headed within the winner with 11 minutes to go to depart Ronald Koeman’s facet third within the desk, two factors behind leaders Atletico Madrid.

Positives

All Barca’s gamers which are a yellow card away from a ban — Messi, Antoine Griezmann, Frenkie de Jong and Oscar Mingueza — managed to keep away from the reserving that might have dominated them out of Sunday’s tough journey to Valencia. However, meaning they’re now all a suspension danger for the next recreation, the essential dwelling date with leaders Atletico every week Saturday.

Negatives

Barca now not have the title in their very own arms. If they win their remaining 5 video games, they are going to leapfrog Atletico, courtesy of the actual fact they host them on May 8, however that won’t be sufficient if Real Madrid win their final 5 fixtures. Barca and Madrid are degree on factors, however Los Blancos boast a superior head-to-head report. Sevilla are the fourth workforce within the combine. They’re three behind Atletico and one level again from Barca and Madrid.

What will frustrate Barca most was that this was a recreation they need to by no means have misplaced. A 1-0 lead proved harmful and wastefulness in assault and defensive lapses value them. Both of Granada’s targets had been the results of slack play from the hosts.

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Manager score out of 10

5 — Koeman’s anger boiled over within the second half as his facet did not kill off the sport and he was despatched to the stands for one thing he mentioned to the referee.

Player rankings (1-10; 10 = finest. Players launched after 70 minutes get no score)

GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 6 — Slow off his line for the primary purpose however was bought brief each instances by his defence.

DF Oscar Mingueza, 5 — Mistimed an interception within the build-up to Granada’s first purpose to deflect the ball into Marchis’ path.

DF Gerard Pique, 5 — Lost Molina for the second Granada purpose, leaving the 39-year-old striker utterly unmarked.

DF Samuel Umtiti, 5 — Like Pique, was responsible of watching Molina drift in for the profitable purpose. Other than that, did not do too badly on his first begin in practically two months, together with one good block on Roberto Soldado within the first half.

MF Sergi Roberto, 4 — Both the targets got here down his facet, with Marchis getting in behind him, and Adrian Marin given an excessive amount of room to cross for the second.

MF Frenkie de Jong, 6 — Worked arduous to defend and assault and was concerned in some good strikes, however did not have an enormous impact on the sport.

MF Sergio Busquets, 7 — Produced a few of Barca’s finest moments, with three or 4 of his passes of the standard that only a few gamers can conjure up.

MF Ilaix Moriba, 6 — The teenager got here in for Pedri and did effectively, profitable a free kick in a harmful space within the first half and organising a Griezmann likelihood after the break.

MF Jordi Alba, 5 — Was crowded out on the left flank by Granada however stored going and did present an outlet for his teammates.

FW Lionel Messi, 6 — Scored an excellent opener, his twenty sixth within the league this season, however missed an incredible likelihood to make it two earlier than half-time.

FW Antoine Griezmann, 6 — Great flip and go to arrange Messi’s purpose however missed his finest likelihood, curling extensive after Ilaix’s pull-back.

Substitutions

MF Pedri, 6 — Came on at 1-1 and could not actually get right into a recreation that had simply opened up with the Granada purpose.

FW Ousmane Dembele, 6 — Saw loads of the ball whereas on the pitch however could not give you something within the ultimate third.

FW Francisco Trincao, N/R — A final roll of the cube from Koeman after Molina had put Granada forward.

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