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Sep 23, 2012

  • FC Barcelona broke a Rigid Granada defense with two late goals.
  • Xavi Hernandez scored in the 87th minute to break the deadlock.

Xavi Hernandez against Granada

FC Barcelona continued their winning streak in the La Liga with a 2-0 victory against Granada at teh Camp Nou. We surely did came close to losing the winning streak tonight, but an 87th minute Xavi goal made sure that we are going home with three points. Vilanova gave David Villa his first official start of the season tonight. He made the attacking trio with Messi and Sanchez. The midfield saw Thiago partnering Cesc and Busquets. Vilanova doesn't look interested to start Bartra instead went with a defense which had Alves, Mascherano, Song and Adriano. The bench had Pinto, Bartra, Alba, Xavi, Sergi Roberto, Pedro and Tello. It was surprising to see Sergi Roberto in the squad and Jonathan Dos Santos out of it. That clearly says that he has no future under Vilanova at Barca.


FC Barcelona Starting Eleven against Granada


The match started with Granada pressing us high, which forces an error from Alves, which almost results in a goal. In contrast we looked rather clumsy with a lot of misplaced passes dominating the first five minutes. In the 7th minute Alves played Messi on but the keeper made a save to deny Messi. In the 9th minute Song showed why playing him in defense could be tricky. A long ball was perfectly headed by Song to Fores, who shot straight at Valdes. In the 11th minute Granada won a corner, which we made a mess in clearing and Granada almost scored from the rebound. In the 23rd minute Cesc Fabregas pulled out a save from Granada keeper. In the 30th minute Siquiera was released on the right straight at goal, luckily was Alves was able to close him down so that Valdes could make a save from his shot. In the 36th minute Messi saw his another shot deflected for a corner. The half ended with a huge argument between Villa and Messi after another failed attack attempt. Messi was at his worst in the half but looked to have improved towards the end. The defense were all over the place. So a lot had to improve in the second half to get something from the game.


In the 51st minute Song forced a regulation save from the keeper from an Alves free kick. In the 53rd minute Alexis and Cesc played a series of one touch passes in the box, but Sanchez shot high over the bar. Immediately Vilanova brought in Pedro and Xavi for Villa and Thiago. With Xavi in we looked much better in build up. In the 65th minute Adriano sent in a brilliant cross into the box but Messi was beaten to it by a defender. The very next minute Messi was put through on goal in the box but his shot was saved again. In the 70th minute Pedro drove past his marker and sent in a brilliant cross on the face of goal, but this time Cesc missed. In the 73rd minute Adriano was taken off for Tello. In the 77th minute Cesc Fabregas shot was saved by the keeper again. In the 79th minute Tello send in a pass into box spotting Xavi's run from deep but the keeper once again denied it. In the 84th minute a moment of lapse from our defense saw Valdes forced to make a brilliant one on one save. At the opposite end once again the Granada keeper denied Messi. In the 87th minute Xavi Hernandez broke the Granada deadlock with a shot from teh edge of the box. The Granada keeper, Tono looked like never going to be beaten tonight but that finish was worthy to beat him. In the 89th minute Alexis stole teh ball from Granada defense and slipped the ball to Pedro, whose attempted chip went over the bar. In the 91st minute Lionel Messi hit the post which summed up a frustrating night for the Argentinian. In the 92nd minute an own goal made sure that we grabbed the three points. Messi danced into the box and send the ball across the face off goal which the defender could only ivert into his own net.


This was one hell of a frustrating match. The team looked absolutely sloppy in the first half, but still was creating chances. We had 11 shots on target but could only score from one of them. That should explain the frsutration of the players. Lionel Messi seemed like the most frustrated shouting at Thiago, Villa and whoever who came close to him. He was guilty of missing three really good one on one chances and also for a lot of uncharacteristic miscontrolling. With this win we have gone 11 points clear off Real Madrid. It's upto them now to cut the lead back to 8.

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