Barcelona came from two goals behind to snatch a point away at a spirited Granada on Sunday evening.
Granada had taken a 2-0 lead in the game thanks to a fantastic brace from Bryan Zaragoza in the opening 30 minutes, before Lamine Yamal reduced arrears in added time of the first half by becoming the youngest goalscorer in La Liga history.
Barca dominated the second half, as expected, and eventually bagged an equalising goal through substitute Sergi Roberto in the 85th minute.
The draw sees Barcelona fall to three points behind table-toppers Real Madrid heading into the international break.
How the game unfolded
Amazingly, within the first 20 seconds of the game, Granada took the lead. Yes, you read that right: within the first 20 seconds of the game.
The goal would come courtesy of Bryan Zaragoza who, after latching onto a through ball from Lucas Boyes on the right-hand side of the penalty area, fired low and hard into the far corner of the net.
As expected, Barca plowed forward with real intent thereafter, with Gavi forcing Andre Ferreira into a smart save with an effort from the edge of the box, and Joao Felix heading over the crossbar from a corner kick.
As Barca pushed players forward in search of an equaliser, they began to leave more and more gaps in the defensive third – gaps that were exploited in the 28th minute by Granada to make it 2-0.
Zaragoza was once again the goalscorer for the home side, bursting in behind the Barca defence before tying Jules Kounde in knots with a cut back, then coolly firing into the top corner with the outside of his right foot.
In added time at the end of the first half, Barcelona were able to find a way to reduce the deficit through starlet Lamine Yamal. After Joao Felix bulldozed his way through a sea of Granada players in the box, the Portugal international fired a shot on goal that was palmed Ferreira into the path of Yamal, who tapped into an empty net.
Barca would push forward with real intent in search of the equaliser at the start of the second half and, rather incredibly, were denied it by Ferreira in the 68th minute. A clever header back across goal from substitute Ronald Araujo was latched onto by Ferran Torres right in the middle of the six-yard box. His subsequent effort on goal was, disappointingly for Barca, straight at Ferreira who was able to just prevent the ball from crossing the line with his mid-riff.
Torres turned provider for Araujo shortly after, when the ex-Man City man played the ball to the defender on the edge of the penalty area. Araujo’s drilled effort on goal however, spun just wide of the foot of the right post.
After huffing and puffing for 40 minutes, the visitors finally got their equaliser in the 85th minute. The goal would come courtesy of substitute Sergi Roberto, who stormed in unmarked in the box to flick home a low Alejandro Balde cross from the left flank.
Almost straight from kick-off, Granada came within a millimetre of restoring their lead. Zaragoza once again caused havoc for the Barca backline with his powerful running, storming down the right-hand side before cannoning the ball off the post.
In the 92nd minute, Barca thought they had completed the turnaround through Felix. The loanee raced in behind the Granada backline to latch onto a stunning cross from Joao Cancelo to head the ball into the net. After a VAR review, the goal was ruled out due to Felix being deemed to have been offside in the build up.
GK: Marc-Andre ter Stegen – 5/10 – Perhaps could have done better with Granada’s opening goal.
RB: Joao Cancelo – 6/10 – Got forward well but caught out a few times defensively.
CB: Jules Kounde – 4/10 – Turned inside out in the lead up to the second goal, then subbed off with an injury before the end of the half.
CB: Andreas Christensen – 5/10 – He struggle to get near Zaragoza all game.
LB: Alejandro Balde – 7/10 – Provided a vital assist for Roberto’s leveller.
CM: Gavi – 5/10 – Dispossessed way too easily in the lead up to the opening goal.
CM: Ilkay Gundogan – 6/10 – Used the ball well in the middle of the park.
CM: Fermin Lopez – 5/10 – A quiet outing for the youngster.
RW: Lamine Yamal – 7/10 – Scored the goal that made him the youngest goalscorer in La Liga history and brought his team back from the dead on Sunday.
ST: Ferran Torres – 5/10 – He’s not exactly Robert Lewandowski, is he? Torres failed to effectively lead the line in the Polish star’s absence.
LW: Joao Felix – 7/10 – Forced an opening for Barca’s first goal of the game. He was very, very active at all time and was always looking for ways to carve the Granada defence open.
SUB: Ronald Araujo (’45 for Kounde) – 6/10 – Made plenty of contributions in the opposition penalty box while Granada were penned in.
SUB: Sergi Roberto (’61 for Lopez) – 7/10 – Scored the equaliser on the night.
SUB: Oriol Romeu (76′ for Yamal) – N/A.
Manager – Xavi Hernandez – 5/10 – Granada shone a light on some weaknesses in Xavi’s tactical set-up, with Barca looking very susceptible to quick counter attacks on Sunday evening.