FC Barcelona 5 Granada 3

Football Club Barcelona moved to within five points of Real Madrid tonight after a crazy 5-3 win over Granada. Leo Messi made history with three more goals which took him past Cesar Rodriguez’s recently revised goalscoring record of 232 goals in official games. The game was looking like a stroll for Barça after taking an early two goal lead, but two Granada goals in the space of seven second-half minutes gave Barça a shock. However, the reaction came with three more goals for Barça though Granada managed to score a third thanks to their second penalty of the night.

Pep Guardiola made five changes to the team that won in Seville with Puyol, Keita, Thiago, Alexis and Cuenca returning in place of Mascherano, Busquets, Fabregas, Pedro and Iniesta. Cuenca was positioned wide on the left and he had an immediate impact on the game. In the fourth minute he sped outside Cortes before crossing to the far post where Messi headed the ball back to Xavi who hooked the ball in from 12 yards though the shot wasn’t the cleanest which may have fooled Julio Cesar.

Messi had his first chance to score on 11 minutes but his powerful low shot, after Alexis’s assist, was well covered by Julio Cesar. Granada were playing a reasonably high defence but they were very narrow which made it easier to get the ball out to Cuenca, in the 17th minute our young winger went past Cortes again and got in another cross which flicked off the top of Borja Gomez’s head before falling nicely for Messi coming in from the right and Messi hit his shot sweetly in off the far post to equal Cesar’s record.

The intensity dropped for the remainder of the first half. Cuenca continued to impress on the left, Alexis was denied a clear penalty after being hacked by Siqueira but there were few clear chances. Granada offered little with the most danger coming from an excellent cross from Dani Benitez that Adriano cleared. At half time Adriano had to be replaced by Mascherano and the first reports suggest a muscle strain which could leave him on the sidelines for ten days.

The second half began with the same low intensity. Messi had a great chance to score the record-breaking goal after Cuenca’s low cross but he screwed the ball wide: quite possibly he wanted to score a better goal for such an occasion! However, suddenly Camp Nou was surprised by Granada scoring a goal out of the blue. They won a free kick out on the left and when the ball swung in Mainz beat Piqué to flick a header past Valdés. If that was bad, things got much worse soon after when Benitez fooled the ref into giving a penalty after braking abruptly in front of Alves as soon as he reached the area, there was contact as Alves tried to avoid the Granada winger, followed by an exagerated dive from Benitez. The ref was about eight yards away and he blew for a penalty. Siqueira sent Valdés the wrong way and Camp Nou could hardly believe it.

There were some nervous minutes as the game became more and more open, but when things are tough there is nobody like Messi to sort things out. In the 68th minute Alves found him and he was played onside by Benitez, and the finish was sublime as Messi lifted the ball over the keeper for this historic goal. Tello and Iniesta came on and Messi gave Tello a great chance with a killer through ball but Tello was forced too wide and then after dribbling back into the area he seemed to be brought down but this time the ref was very poorly positioned to see it.

Alves never stopped coming forward, in the 82nd minute he advanced before finding Iniesta who turned before sending a great ball for Messi, the angle was tight and Julio Cesar beat away Messi’s powerful drive but Tello was on hand to fire the rebound neatly inside the far post. The cherry on the top came four minutes later when Alves again combined with Messi who took the ball around the keeper before shooting past Mainz on the line. The game should have ended here with Messi’s hat-trick but instead Granada were awarded a second penalty for a handball from Alves. The ref showed Alves his second yellow – he’d got one for conceding the first penalty – and Siqueira again showed class to send Valdés the wrong way from the spot. Alves’s sending off should mean he misses our game at Mallorca on Saturday (Here I would like somebody from the Spanish Football Federation to explain how Carlos Martins was playing for Granada after his red card at the weekend. The commentator kindly explained that the Disciplinary Committee were on holiday yesterday. Incredible I know, but this is just one more demonstration of the incompetence of the men in charge of the Spanish game).

Barça: Valdés 6, Alves 8, Puyol 7, Piqué 6.5, Adriano 7 (Mascherano m45, 6.5); Keita 7, Thiago 6 (Iniesta m71, 7), Xavi 8; Alexis 6 (Tello m71, 7) , Messi 8, Cuenca 7.5.

Granada: Julio César; Cortes, Mainz, Borja, Siqueira; D.Benitez, Moisés, Mikel Rico, Jara, Martins; Ighalo

Goals: m4 Xavi 1-0, m17 Messi 2-0, m55 Mainz 2-1, m62 Siqueira (pen) 2-2, m68 Messi 3-2, m82 Tello 4-2, m86 Messi 5-2

Yellow cards: Ighalo, Benitez, Keita, Cortes, Alves, Moises, Mainz, Alves (=red) Mascherano, Geijo.

Attendance: 62,461

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17 Responses to FC Barcelona 5 Granada 3

  1. Ian Adams says:

    Oh come on, give Messi a ten.

  2. layibiyi says:

    #messi, thats all i seem to say these days. Nothing more, just #messi. The next generation are definitely going to think we are exaggerating messi’s stories like have been done for some previous greats. Thank God we have good excellent video evidence 🙂

    relaxed game apart from the Jekyll and Hyde alves perfomance
    and just like i mentioned could happen, adriano out for 10 days with one of his not-surprising injuries. cant he play 3 matches in a row with injuries. now we have full back issues for a relatively tougher game at the weekend. i hope this wont be a problem for us down the stretch

  3. bc9jaCulé says:

    Messi is simply out of this world. I mean, what can u say? Attaining such a club-record feat at 24 is just incredible. More so, he’s now got 54 goals in 45 matches, many of which are exquisite work of art — I’m just speechless. And after such a landmark achievement marked with a sumptuous hattrick all u could do is rate him an 8. I think I smell some stinginess here. I mean, even goal.com rated him a 9, please edit that rating ASAP.

    On a side note, was Piqué napping when a shorter guy got in front of him to nod in Granada’s first? What’s wrong with him these days anyway? He really must sharpen up because we can’t afford such lapses anymore — especially in the CL.

    Here’s to hoping we can win all our remaining matches this season.

    Visca Barça!!!!!
    Força Barça!!!!!

  4. Like the others have said, Messi is awe inspiring

  5. barcacentralnic says:

    Sorry if I’ve offended anyone for the rating on Messi. 🙂 Firstly, let me say the ratings are based on the 90 minutes of play, not on a career or a record, and this game, while very good, was far from Messi’s best. Secondly, you well know my ratings are strict and that a 9 has to be an excellent performance while the 10 is reserved for the truly great games. That said, I would definitely give Messi a 10 for his Barça career so far, he is an incredible player who is blowing away everything in his path. To break a club goalscoring record at the age of 24 is quite simply astonishing and the number of titles and individual awards he has won at such a young age is without equal

  6. Fredegar says:

    Well, I won’t add my impressions of Messi, I just share everything you say of him.

    But (just to piss the party!), I would underline that we have conceded three more goals. This is a worry. Our defense hasn’t been as good this whole season as it had been in the previous ones, and that’s costing us. We’ve been sensitive to set pieces, we’ve made errors we were not making, and I haven’t checked, but I imagine that it must show in the “goals conceded” statistics. It’s something that has cost us dearly in the league already, but what’s really worrying is that I think it makes us underdogs to retain our european title. With such a defense, we won’t be able to beat powerful teams like Milan or Chelsea, not to speak of our possible opponent in the final, be it Real or Bayern. And now we have one more worry with our full backs (let’s hope Montoya will save our day this week-end!), and Piqué is still not at the level we need him to be. Now that we’ve hit a great peak of form just at the right moment, we ned to improve in this area.

  7. FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

    Superb win, and superb free kick by Marcos Senna on the other end. Now here’s an enquiry, i’f heard some news about Jordi Alba signing for Barca next season??? Any truth on this??

    While Jordi Alba is a good player and all, firstly i’d like to mention again, that he doesn’t exactly have a strong physical presence. We certainly need a successor for Abidal and Puyol for next season. Adriano seems seems to be decent enough in the Jordi Alba sort of genre. I don’t really see a need in Jordi Alba in our team. Tell me, i’m wrong. If anything, i think we need a Thiago Silva sort of specifications more more than ever. I hear Verthongen is looking for a move away as well. That guy could play both CB and LB = exactly what’s worth a try in buying.

    • barcacentralnic says:

      I understand that there is an agreement with the player but not yet with Valencia so we will have to negotiate. I think Alba would fit in perfectly at Barça, He started at the Masia and has come on enormously over the last couple of years. I would be very much in favour of getting him, then hopefully we have a couple of very good left backs for the future in Carles Planas and Alejandro Grimaldo

      • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

        Nic, i hear a deal close to 15m could price Jordi Alba away to Barcelona. But again, you really feel this transfer is what we need? I mean don’t you think Jordi and Adriano i at about the same level? Plus Adriano is more versatile, and able to use both his feet. I don’t know, but given more chances i believe Adriano could improve and be a much better player for Barcelona at left back. Am i wrong in this one? I don’t know, i just don’t see a big need in us cashing in on Jordi Alba. Rather save the money for a possible Thiago Silva or Verthongen(available at around 8-10 m only)

        • FC Barcelona Rocks! says:

          thou i reckon Thiago Silva would be really expensive (33m and above), but he’s just way tooo perfect for CB for us.

  8. barcacentralnic says:

    Feeling good this morning, Six points don’t seem so many 🙂

  9. Hilal says:

    The pressure is really starting to tell over in the capital 🙂

    They really dont do well with failure do they! Haha. Anyways it is nice to see them suffer a bit, although they have absolutely no right whatsoever to complain about referees. They have had so much help from refs this season it is becoming a joke. Villareal should have had at least one pen yesterday, maybe even two so really they should have walked away with all 3 points. That being said considering the number of wins they have been gifted by refs this season I will take the draw.

    6 points isnt that much, but we are still relying on other teams to do well against Madrid, something that I am not all the comfortable with. Bilbao and Athletico away give me the most hope, mainly because both those teams have very good coaches, ones that will not play into Madrids hands and will motivate their players properly. I would love to see Athletico finally get something from Madrid, even it it is just a draw and I really do believe that Bilbao have what it takes to take all 3 points. They are one hell of a team on their day under Bielsa – the Copa final is going to be very, very tough.

    We still have to win ALL of our games, but momentum in football is a funny thing. We seem to be hitting our peak at just the right time, while Madrid are struggling a bit. We also have a much easier run. We have played all the really tricky away games and I expect us to win at home no matter who we play.

    How sweet would it be to win the league after trailing by so much for so long. Maybe even sweeter than leading the race for most of the season.

  10. Fredegar says:

    It’s probably time to get a “cagometro” of our own 😉

  11. Pingback: Preview: FC Barcelona vs Granada CF (game 5 liga 2012/13) | barçacentral

  12. Pingback: Preview: FC Barcelona vs Granada CF (game 5 liga 2012/13) | Blaugrana Fan

  13. Pingback: Preview: Granada vs FC Barcelona (game 24 liga 2012/13) | barçacentral

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