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Played
September 22, 2012 4:00 PM EDT
Camp Nou — Barcelona
Referee:‬ Carlos Del Cerro‎
Attendance:‬ 65834‎
 
87′ Xavi
 
90+2′ (OG) Borja Gómez
 
   
 
 

Player Ratings: Barcelona 2-0 Granada

A late Xavi stunner followed by Gomez's own goal settled matters for the home team, who were given a fierce test by the visitors

By Daniel Edwards

  • Víctor Valdés
    56
    20
    3.50

    Víctor Valdés

    Called into action several times during the match and always dependable, the highlight being a quick-witted parry from Siqueira.

  • Daniel Alves
    58
    15
    3.50

    Daniel Alves

    A couple of excellent passes in the first half almost opened the door for Messi and Barca. Always a threat on the right, although he was almost exposed going backwards by Granada's rapid counters.

  • Adriano
    45
    14
    3.00

    Adriano

    Untroubled defensively, and broke forward on a number of occasions, albeit with little danger. Taken off for Tello with 15 minutes to go.

  • Cesc Fàbregas
    44
    46
    2.50

    Cesc Fàbregas Flop of the Match

    Had one of the hosts' clearest chances with a well-hit effort in the first half. But too often broke the team's rhythm with a wayward or misplaced pass, contributing to a disjointed home display.

  • Thiago Alcántara
    40
    25
    3.00

    Thiago Alcántara

    Disappointing stuff from the young midfielder, who had the chance to prove he could be a worthy stand-in for Xavi but who ended up being replaced by the Barca icon. Too imprecise in possession.

  • Javier Mascherano
    53
    15
    3.50

    Javier Mascherano

    A mix-up with new partner Song almost cost Barca dear in the opening minutes as Flores let loose from the edge of the area. Otherwise solid stuff from the Argentine, with some intelligent distribution.

  • Busquets
    51
    19
    3.00

    Busquets

    A typically understated performance from the holding midfielder, consistently finding his man in the pass and breaking down Granada movement high in their own half.

  • Alex Song
    66
    14
    3.00

    Alex Song

    Looked less than comfortable early on in his first Barca appearance at the back, but gradually made the role his own and looked decent. Forced a save from Tono with a tricky header.

  • David Villa
    51
    28
    2.50

    David Villa

    Off the pace and ineffective, a host of offside decisions called against him summed up a lacklustre display from the ex-Valencia man. Pulled off for Pedro in the second half.

  • Alexis Sánchez
    44
    23
    2.50

    Alexis Sánchez

    Looked on a different wavelength to his team-mates for large stretches of the game, too often going missing. Poor execution of the final ball also let down the talented Chilean.

  • Lionel Messi
    99
    37
    3.50

    Lionel Messi

    In the absence of Iniesta and, in the first 45, Xavi, creative responsibility fell on the shoulders of the Ballon d'Or holder. Some mesmerising passages of play, but should have buried a one-on-one chance in the second half. Still, the own goal was down to him.

Substitutions

  • Xavi
    94
    11
    4.00

    Xavi

    The inspirational midfielder changed the course of the game for his club. Barca were a different team with Xavi on the pitch, and he set them on the way to victory with a brilliant volley.

  • Pedro
    48
    16
    3.00

    Pedro

    Came in for the disappointing Villa after the break, and posed problems with his direct running and movement. Squandered an excellent chance at the death.

  • Tello
    51
    15
    3.00

    Tello

    The youngster entered late in the game for Adriano, as Vilanova desperately chased the three points.

  • Toño
    74
    9
    5.00

    Toño Top of the Match

    May well have been surprised at the quiet first half he enjoyed, but was equal to everything thrown at him by the visitors. Positively shone after the break with a seemingly endless sequence of miraculous saves that kept the game level, before Xavi finally beat him with four minutes left. So unlucky to be denied what would have been the most deserved of clean sheets.

  • Allan Nyom
    8
    11
    3.00

    Allan Nyom

    Made one telling tackle on Messi to deny the Argentine wizard a chance during the first half. Disciplined positioning time and again caught Villa out offside.

  • Guilherme Siqueira
    9
    9
    3.50

    Guilherme Siqueira

    A fierce shot from wide on the left forced Valdes to tip over the bar. His running from deep formed a key part of Granada's play on the break.

  • Íñigo López
    9
    9
    3.50

    Íñigo López

    A titan at the back as Granada stood their ground against their illustrious rivals. On more than one occasion his lunging boot prevented Barca from taking the lead.

  • Borja Gómez
    7
    12
    2.50

    Borja Gómez

    Almost left red-faced in the first half when his header went so close to flying into the away net. There was no reprieve in the last minutes, though, an own goal harsh on a player who had defended diligently.

  • Mikel Rico
    9
    9
    3.50

    Mikel Rico

    Did an excellent job of harrying and rushing the Barca midfield during the first half, provoking some uncharacteristic wayward passes in the process. Ripping shot almost put Granada into the lead early on.

  • Fabián Orellana
    8
    10
    3.50

    Fabián Orellana

    Took advantage of the spaces forming behind the attack-minded Alves, the only shame was that he didn't see more of the ball.

  • Iriney
    9
    10
    3.00

    Iriney

    Like his partner in the middle, had no problem playing from the edge of his own area and frustrating the Catalans just as they smelled the net.

  • Yacine Brahimi
    9
    9
    3.00

    Yacine Brahimi

    An excellent display from the young Frenchman, who was at the heart of almost all Granada's attacking endeavours. Brilliant distribution and caused problems with his dribbling.

  • Gabriel Torje
    12
    9
    3.00

    Gabriel Torje

    A quiet game for the wideman, who got the best of Adriano on a few occasions but who also suffered with the lack of decent possession.

  • Antonio Floro Flores
    9
    10
    2.50

    Antonio Floro Flores

    A performance full of heart and sacrifice from the forward, who saw his opportunities dry up as the game progressed. Picked up a yellow card for an unnecessary foul on Busquets.

Substitutions

  • Jaime Romero
    7
    9
    3.00

    Jaime Romero

    Played the last 15 minutes after coming on for the excellent Brahimi.

  • Juanma Ortiz
    7
    8
    3.00

    Juanma Ortiz

    A second-half cameo after replacing Torje.

  • Youssef El Arabi
    9
    9
    3.00

    Youssef El Arabi

    Almost broke the game open late on masterminding a counter squandered by Orellana.

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