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Played
October 25, 2011 2:00 PM EDT
Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes — Granada
Referee:‬ César Muñiz‎
Attendance:‬ 22500‎
 
 
Xavi 34′
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Granada 0-1 Barcelona

Xavi's fantastic free-kick sealed it for the Catalans, who were well below their best but did enough to win it and return to the top of the Primera Division on Tuesday

By Ben Hayward

  • Roberto
    7
    2
    2.50

    Roberto

    Decent saves from Xavi and Abidal in the first half, while he couldn't be blamed for the goal, but let in Barca with one sloppy clearance which Messi should have scored from in the second half. Saved brilliantly from Cuenca after that, though.

  • Guilherme Siqueira
    7
    2
    2.50

    Guilherme Siqueira

    Solid defending in the left-back position and pushed Dani Alves back deep with some fine forward runs, particularly in the first period. His challenge on Pedro saw the Tenerife-born forward go off injured, but there was no malice.

  • Íñigo López
    8
    3
    3.00

    Íñigo López

    Formed an excellent partnership with Mainz and those two kept Barca at bay for the post part. Solid positional play and unnerved against some of the world's best players.

  • Mainz
    6
    2
    3.00

    Mainz

    Defended well as Granada made life difficult for the Catalans throughout this contest. Some decent blocks and one quite brilliant goal-line clearance to deny Messi when the Argentine looked certain to score in the second half.

  • Allan Nyom
    6
    2
    2.50

    Allan Nyom

    Generally solid on the right but was unable to get forward as much as he liked. Did well to cope with the threat of Cuenca, pushing the youngster inside as much as he could.

  • Dani Benítez
    3
    3
    2.50

    Dani Benítez

    Stupidly sent off for kicking the ball way after he was booked for a reckless challenge on Busquets before that. Lively when he had the ball, but unfortunately he didn't see enough of it.

  • Fran Rico
    3
    3
    2.50

    Fran Rico

    Worked incredibly hard in midfield and did well to cope to some extent with his illustrious opponents. Eventually tired and went off with 10 minutes left.

  • Jaime Romero
    3
    3
    2.50

    Jaime Romero

    The former Udinese player had one long-range effort blocked and linked up well in the final third in the first half. Caught Maxwell in the face with a high boot and earned a second yellow card early in the second, though.

  • Mikel Rico
    4
    4
    2.50

    Mikel Rico

    Tough tackling in midfield from the Basque, who didn't let Barca play but committed too many fouls. Didn't offer much going forward but did a job defensively.

  • Abel
    3
    3
    2.50

    Abel

    Probably the most disappointing of Granada's forward players as he had little joy down the right-hand side. Worked hard, though, and put in some decent defensive work.

  • Uche
    3
    5
    2.00

    Uche Flop of the Match

    Lively early on and blasted one effort over the bar after 12 minutes, but was never really given the service he needed to be able to hurt Barca with his pace and was replaced by Geijo in the second half.

Substitutions

  • Alex Geijo
    5
    0
    2.50

    Alex Geijo

    Lively after coming on but had little service.

  • Yohann Mollo
    4
    1
    2.50

    Yohann Mollo

    Little time to make an impression as he came on with 10 minutes left.

  • Víctor Valdés
    31
    14
    2.50

    Víctor Valdés

    Hasn't let a goal in for seven whole games now and was rarely troubled in this match. Had to be alert to come racing off his line to clear one Granada long ball in the second half. But an otherwise quiet evening.

  • Maxwell
    27
    17
    2.50

    Maxwell

    The left back was tidy enough at left-back but was caused some problems by Jaime Romero before the midfielder was sent off following a second booking. That was for a high boot on Maxwell himself and the Brazilian looked to exaggerate the contact.

  • Éric Abidal
    34
    12
    2.50

    Éric Abidal

    Comfortable in central defense in the absence of Carles Puyol and managed to get forward at times as well down the left. Tested Roberto with a powerful effort from an angle, which the keeper punched clear.

  • Javier Mascherano
    37
    11
    0.00

    Javier Mascherano

    Started in defense once more and kept it simple, sticking to his task with discipline. Had little to do as Barca dominated possession but remained alert to make one key block late on and played the ball out from the back with class.

  • Daniel Alves
    34
    16
    2.50

    Daniel Alves

    Got forward in the opening minutes as he combined with Cesc and Pedro in the final third, but was pushed back by Siqueira at times, particularly in the first half. Not at his best at the moment and didn't make a big impact.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    39
    15
    2.50

    Cesc Fàbregas

    Linked up well with his teammates around the area and had one decent effort on goal early in the second half, which Roberto saved. Another tame shot was easily saved after that. Short of his best after recovering from injury. Not his finest game.

  • Busquets
    34
    17
    3.00

    Busquets

    Booked for a wild challenge on Abel Gomez in the second half as his discipline once again came into question. His football, however, was as tidy as usual and he looked comfortable as the Catalans bossed the possession.

  • Xavi
    72
    12
    3.00

    Xavi Top of the Match

    Broke Migueli's appearance record in his 392nd league game for the club and marked the occasion with a fine free-kick winner from over 25 yards. Had another good effort late on, before he was replaced by Keita in the closing stages.

  • Cuenca
    42
    15
    3.00

    Cuenca

    Showed some good touches on the left, put two decent balls into the box and cut inside to try his luck with a curling effort which went wide in the first half. Later missed a one-on-one with Roberto, but a promising full debut overall.

  • Lionel Messi
    66
    31
    2.50

    Lionel Messi

    Not his best game. Lovely skill on the edge of the box early on as he cut both ways and then curled a nice angled shot just wide. Later should have scored but saw his effort cleared off the line. Still tied with Kubala on 194 Barca goals.

  • Pedro
    35
    15
    2.50

    Pedro

    Came close with a header halfway through the first half and also fired a speculative effort over the bar. Did some good defensive work before he went off injured following a challenge from Siqueira. Could be out for a while.

Substitutions

  • Seydou Keita
    33
    8
    2.50

    Seydou Keita

    Came on late for Xavi as Barca needed fresh legs. Did what he was asked to do as the Catalans held on for a win.

  • David Villa
    27
    14
    2.50

    David Villa

    Hit an effort well over after coming on for the injured Pedro, then set up Messi for an effort which was cleared off the line by Mainz. Well off target after that, he appeared to have left his shooting boots at home.

  • Andrés Iniesta Luján
    37
    13
    2.50

    Andrés Iniesta Luján

    A subdued cameo from the Spain midfielder, who came on for Cesc with 19 minutes left.

Results
 
Player Ratings
Tournament
Position
Ranking
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Cristiano Ronaldo Cristiano Ronaldo
Striker
Real Madrid
28 6
Diego Costa Diego Costa
Striker
Atlético de Madrid
27 5
Lionel Messi Lionel Messi
Striker
Barcelona
26 6
Karim Benzema Karim Benzema
Striker
Real Madrid
17 0
Alexis Sánchez Alexis Sánchez
Striker
Barcelona
17 0