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Barcelona v Granada Live Commentary, 30/4/21

1 - 2
L. Messi (23)
D. Machís (63)
Jorge Molina (79)
Camp Nou


That’s all for now. Goodbye!
Barca had won all of their home LaLiga matches against Granada before today, but that record has now bitten the dust, and the Blaugrana remain third, a point above Sevilla, level with Madrid, and two behind Atleti with four games remaining.
What a result for Granada, and what a result for the title race! Madrid, Atleti and Sevilla will be thanking Granada, with their comeback having ensured Barca – who took the lead through Messi – have wasted their game in hand. It is Molina who is the hero for the visitors, with Machis having initially equalised.
90' + 5' Ter Stegen is up… Messi takes the free-kick… but it swings straight to the Granada goalkeeper, and that is game over!
Adrián Marín
Yellow Card
90' + 4' Marin gets a booking for a foul on Messi. Here's a chance for Barca to get a quality delivery into the area...
90' + 1' There will be four minutes of added time. Is there set to be one final twist?
Germán Sánchez
Yellow Card
89' More frustration for Barca, as Dembele takes a tumble 25 yards out, under pressure from a defender. The referee is not fooled, and awards a free-kick Granada’s way, though Sanchez does get a booking for asking for Dembele to be cautioned.
88' Excellent work from Sanchez, who not only manages to stretch to clear a cross, but also draws a foul from Pique in the process, relieving the pressure on Granada’s defence.
Fede Vico
L. Suárez
86' Another change for Granada, and Suarez takes his time going off to wind down the clock. Vico is the player who comes on.
83' Trincao has his first attempt, but it is blocked at source. Barca are getting desperate now. This is a massive opportunity which seems set to pass them by!
Sergio Busquets
81' Barca respond with another change – Trincao replacing Busquets. It's time to throw everything forward, but Granada have defended brilliantly so far.
80' Barca’s players look stunned. Have they thrown away the chance to move top?
Adrián Marín
79' It’s two substitutes who have combined for that Granada goal. Marin crossed it in, and Molina delivered the finishing touch.
Jorge Molina
79' GOOOOAAALLL!!! GRANADA GO AHEAD! What a turnaround this is! A cross from the left is met by Molina, and the veteran campaigner diverts a wonderful header across Ter Stegen to make it Barca 1-2 Granada, with just over 10 minutes remaining.
Adrián Marín
D. Machís
76' Time for a Granada change, as their goalscorer Machis makes way, with Marin on.
75' Barca win a succession of corners, with Dembele quickly getting himself involved. However, Granada see off the pressure, with Umtiti eventually sending a poor header out of play.
Ilaix Moriba
72' Ilaix has also gone off, with Pedri on in his place.
O. Dembélé
Óscar Mingueza
72' Two changes for Barca. First, Mingueza, who was partly at fault for Granada's equaliser, makes way for Dembele.
69' Barca’s high line is giving Granada plenty of space to exploit in behind, and the visitors are certainly doing that on the counter as the Blaugrana press forward in search of a goal to get themselves back in front.
67' It’s gone from bad to worse for Barca! Koeman could not hold back in airing his frustration down on the touchline, and he has now been sent to the stands by the referee!
65' It’s game well and truly on at Camp Nou, and the onus is all on Barca to get back ahead and take top spot in LaLiga. Fans of Real Madrid, Atleti and Sevilla will all be behind Granada right now!
D. Machís
63' GOOOOOAAALLLL!!! GRANADA ARE LEVEL! Well, they have stayed in the game and now they have struck, and it’s Machis who has got the goal. Mingueza failed to deal with a loose ball and the Granada forward, who had got the better of Roberto, was on hand to get on the end of it and squeeze a finish beyond Ter Stegen. It’s 1-1!
M. Gonalons
Y. Eteki
61' Gonalons is also on in midfield, replacing Eteki.
Jorge Molina
61' Here's the first changes, and it is Granada who make them. Molina is on in place of Soldado.
61' Just over an hour played at Camp Nou and, for all Barca’s dominance, Granada are still very much in this game.
58' Slick play from Barca. First, Messi and De Jong combine to slip in Roberto, but his cross is cleared. Busquets then pings a brilliant pas through the lines, but Roberto can’t quite stretch far enough to make contact.
56' Barca have managed to gain a foothold since that chance for Granada, and are controlling the ball right on the edge of the visitors’ box. They click through the gears with a long ball over for Roberto to chase. He gets there, but his cross is again cut out by a defender.
54' Griezmann has been excellent so far for Barca. He has scored six goals in his last seven appearances in all competitions, scoring in each of the last three – the last time he scored in four games in a row for a club in all competitions was in January 2019 for Atleti (six games in a row, seven goals).
52' Over! Messi feeds De Jong, who plays a wonderful first-time cross over to Roberto. The full-back tries to cushion a volley into the top corner, but gets it all wrong, sending it way over the crossbar.
50' Vital defending from Pique! Barca’s defence suddenly found themselves in a two-versus-two situation, with Soldado driving at goal. The former Valencia and Tottenham striker tried to square it to a team-mate, but Pique got back to make a brilliant interception.
47' CLOSE! Nearly a second for Barca! Having turned provider for Messi’s opener, Griezmann tries his own luck on the turn, but his shot flashes wide of the right-hand post.
46' Granada get the second half underway.
Messi missed a great chance to make it 2-0, and Barca will be looking to put the game to bed early in the second half and send themselves to the top of LaLiga heading into the weekend.
An entertaining first half comes to a close with Barca leading thanks to Messi’s 23rd-minute strike. The hosts are worthy of their lead, though Granada have threatened on occasion, mainly through Herrera and Soldado.
45' Another fantastic run from De Jong gets Barca on the front foot. He finds Messi, who plays a crisp, first-time pass into Ilaix. The youngster just hesitated on the edge of the area, though, allowing Machis to get back.
N. Pérez
Yellow Card
43' A booking for Perez who, having let Messi run past him, had little choice but to haul the Barca skipper back.
40' Great defending from Umtiti, who shows fantastic recovery pace to skip across and deny Soldado. His slide tackle results in a deflection which wrong foots Ter Stegen, but the ball ends up safely in the side netting.
37' Escandell is called into action again from the resulting corner, but Umtiti’s header was directed right down the goalkeeper’s throat.
36' CHANCE! Well, for all the world that looked set to be 2-0! Messi beat Granada’s offside trap and took a brilliant touch to control a ball over the top. However, Escandell just manages to close the angle enough to get a touch on the Argentine’s shot.
35' Well, the physios aren’t on the pitch just yet, but Quina is still down. He came off second best after a challenge from Pique. Eventually, he is back to his feet without having to receive medical attention.
34' A Granada player – Quina – is down but there is little sympathy from the referee, or indeed Barca, who play on despite the visitors’ protestations. Finally, after around a minute, the official stops the play so that Quina can receive some treatment.
31' Barca go short from a free-kick, causing havoc for Granada’s defence. Roberto gets down the right and tries to square it to a team-mate, but his pass is behind a glut of Barca players, and Granada escape unscathed.
29' De Jong makes a great, surging run down the right and lays it off to the onrushing Messi. For once, his touch is just a bit too heavy, and the 33-year-old can’t get a shot off before a defender is across to block it.
27' Messi has now been involved in 13 goals in six LaLiga appearances against Granada at Camp Nou (10 goals and three assists).
25' CHANCE! Barca very nearly gifted Granada an immediate equaliser! Busquets was robbed of possession on the edge of his own box, but Herrera’s resulting shot was a poor one which trickled wide.
A. Griezmann
23' Griezmann has really rediscovered his best form as of late and that was a fantastic bit of skill from the former Atletico Madrid star.
L. Messi
23' GOAL! Barca lead, and who else would it be?! Messi nets for the 26th time in LaLiga this season, and it was a wonderful move. He played it into Griezmann, who turned clear of his marker and played a neat throughball into Messi’s path. The Argentine got his head down, and guided a brilliant finish across Escandell. It’s 1-0 Barca!
Yellow Card
20' Soldado collects the first booking of the match, having fouled Griezmann.
19' SAVE! Barca get the first effort on target, as Griezmann tries his luck from 25 yards out. His shot is well struck, and heading for the bottom-left corner, but Escandell gets down to make the stop.
16' Clever play from Soldado, who relieves some pressure by backing into a defender and drawing a foul. Experienced centre-forward play.
14' Granada have conceded in each of their 24 away LaLiga games against Barca, failing to score in 15 of those matches, including the last six – their last goal at Camp Nou in the competition came back in March 2012.
12' It has been a rather scrappy start. Barca are getting plenty of the ball but so far, bar that half-chance for Alba, haven’t been able to fashion an opening, with Granada’s defence content to sit deep in a bank of five.
9' CLOSE! A well-worked Barca move sees Alba get a snapshot off from just outside the box. It takes a deflection off Herrera, and just slices over the bar.
7' Barca have won 17 of their last 19 LaLiga games against Granada (L2) keeping 11 clean sheets during this period.
5' Ilaix wins a free-kick which Barca attempt to work into the area, but Foulquier is on hand to intervene, albeit he does appear to pull a muscle while doing so.
3' Barca start as they mean to go on, controlling possession and instantly probing their way through the thirds. It is eventually worked into Ilaix down the left, but the teenager can’t quite get it back to Alba, and Granada finally get the ball.
1' KICK-OFF! Barca captain and talisman Messi gets this clash up and running!
The teams are out onto the pitch at Camp Nou which, of course, is still unfortunately devoid of fans as Spain, like the rest of Europe, continues to battle against the coronavirus pandemic. It’s a huge game in the title race, with Barca needing to take advantage of this match in hand!
Diego Martinez has made five alterations to his side, with Carlos Neva, Antonio Puertas, Kenedy, Gonalons and first-choice goalkeeper Rui Silva making way.
GRANADA SUBS: Domingos Quina, Sergio Barcia, Adrian Marin, Maxime Gonalons, Arnau Fabrega, Alberto Soro, Jorge Molina, Joao Costa, Fede Vico.
GRANADA (3-4-3): Aaron Escandell; Nehuen Perez, German Sanchez, Victor Diaz; Dimitri Foulquier, Yangel Herrera, Yan Eteki, Quini; Luis Suarez, Roberto Soldado, Darwin Machis.
Three changes from Koeman, with Pedri, Lenglet and Dest dropping to the bench from the win over Villarreal. In come youngster Ilaix, Roberto and Umtiti.
BARCELONA SUBS: Sergino Dest, Ronald Araujo, Miralem Pjanic, Ousmane Dembele, Riqui Puig, Neto, Clement Lenglet, Pedri, Trincao Junior Firpo, Konrad De la Fuente, Arnau Tenas.
BARCELONA (3-1-4-2): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Oscar Mingueza, Gerard Pique, Samuel Umtiti; Sergio Busquets; Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong, Ilaxi Moriba, Jordi Alba; Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann.
Granada, meanwhile, sit down in eighth place, and they may still harbour slim hopes of a European finish, albeit they would really have to win today to put themselves in trye contention.
Having won the Copa del Rey, Barca are now well in the midst of what is suddenly a four-way battle for the league title. Ronald Koeman’s team have won their last two games since losing to Real Madrid, beating Getafe 5-2 and Villarreal 2-1.
Welcome to live coverage of LaLiga, as Barcelona look to move to the top of the table, though they must first defeat Granada.