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Sep 27, 2014

Barcelona Football Club got back to winning ways and back to the top of league with a brilliant 6-0 victory against Granada. After a series of away games, Barca players really cherished the chance of playing at home. There was no let off from them and it was really hard on a brave Granada side who actually did quite well. The scoreline did justice to the intensity shown by the Barca side, which was a far cry from the boring performance against Malaga. Once again Lionel Messi was pivotal in Barca victory - scoring twice and almost playing a hand in almost all other goals. The biggest beneficiary of his creativity was Neymar, who scored his first hat-trick for the season. Luis Enrique did some shuffling to his starting eleven from their last start against Malaga. The biggest change was the introduction of Xavi Hernandez in place of Iniesta. In defense there was a complete change with Matthieu, Alves, Mascherano and Adriano replacing Pique, Doughlas, Alba and Bartra. Once agains Bravo kept his starting place and one was left to wonder when Ter Stegan will make his debut. THe midfield had Xavi, Busquets and Ivan Rakitic. Munir, Neymar and Messi formed the front trio.

Following the goalless draw against Malaga, there was an expectation about this game really opening up. The odds were stacked perfectly against Garnada, actually no one gave them a chance - follow the link for Betfair football markets . In the 7th minute Barca had a big scare and was on the verge of losing their great clean sheet start; luckily for us the crossbar saved us. In the 11th minute an excellent cross from Alves completely broke the defense, Matthieu who surprisingly was the furthest man at the far end volleyed it to Munir who was unmarked in front of the goal; but unfortunately he put the ball straight in to the keeper's cusp. The game had the familiar feel with Barca totally dominating the proceeding and Granda only dreaming about seeing Barca's defensive third. In the 23rd minute Xavi unleashed a screamer from outside the box but the keeper was able to deal with it. In the 26th minute after all the pressure Barca broke the deadlock with Neymar scoring yet another. It was quite a scrappy goal, first of all the Granada midfield gifted the ball to Neymar, whose finish was rather poor but took a deflection and looped over the keeper into the goal. To their credit Granada was not going to go down quietly and they were making the most of the little bit of possession they were seeing. In the 43rd minute Barca made it 2-0 this time with an exquisitely build up goal. Messi used his pace to get past defenders on the left before unleashing a brilliant cross to the near post, fortunately for him this time Rakitic was at hand and his headed finish did justice to that cross. If the first goal was scrappy, there was nothing of that in the second one. That goal added yet another assist. Within a minute Barca made it 3-0 with neymar scoring his second for the night. Once again it was the brilliant pass from Messi which created the chance. Messi played a brilliant ball into the box for Munir to run to, the keepr just managed to reach it before Munir could but the rebound fell perfectly to neymar who made no mistake with the finish. That was the last action for the night and brought a bit of respite for a battered brave Granada side. Granada came with a plan to utilize their height in attack but Luis Enrique's boys saw through and never gave them a real chance.

At 3-0 everyone knew Granada had no chance but that never disheartened them. They started the second half with much higher pressing. In the 56th minute Xavi forced a brilliant save from keeper Roberto from just outside the box. In the 58th minute Messi's pace threw the defense out of balance, Messi slid the ball perfectly to Munir whose finish was wide off target. In the 58th minute Ivan Rakitic was substituted by Sergi Roberto in a clear indication of him starting against PSG on Wednesday. In the 62nd minute Lionel Messi got in to the scoresheet with a goal reminiscence of Barca's golden years. xavi played a ball on to the right for Alves, whose cross was exquisite for a in coming Messi who made no mistake with the finish. In the 64th minute Luis Enrique took off Busquets for Bartra, which meant Mascherano was slotted in to the defensive midfield role, something which was happening for the first time since the World Cup. In the 66th minute Neymar completed his hat-trick courtesy of another moment of brilliance by Messi. Xavi released Messi on the left, who squared the ball perfectly for Neymar who made no mistake in recording another hat-trick. In the 71st minute Sandro made his customary appearance in place of Munir. In the 82nd minute Messi made it 6-0 with the second of the night. Once again a poor moment by Granada defense showed Messi the opening, who naturally didn't hesitate and finished with the usual poise.

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