Granada vs. Barcelona: Final score 1-2, Lionel Messi guides Blaugrana to comeback win

David Ramos

Barcelona turned in a rather average performance on Saturday, but Lionel Messi had enough quality to fire them past Granada.

Lionel Messi, who scored twice on Saturday, has 37 goals in 24 La Liga games. He is the first player to ever score in 12 away games in one La Liga season. It is February.

Barcelona were far from their best against Granada. The absence of Xavi Hernandez was obvious throughout the match, as the Blaugrana struggled to create chances through the methodical build-up play that they're famous for. They didn't have the volume of scoring opportunities that they usually have, but Messi made the most of the ones the Blaugrana did create in a 2-1 win.

The hosts got off to a brilliant start, going ahead in the 26th minute. At the end of an excellent counter attack, Nolito got onto the end of a lofted cross to the far post, took the ball down, and squared for Odion Ighalo, who turned it in to put Granada ahead. They held their lead into halftime, holding Barcelona scoreless in the first 45 minutes.

From the beginning of the second half, it appeared that Granada intended to play a negative game for the duration of the period if possible. Sadly for them, their plan ceased working in the 50th minute. Goalkeeper Toño spilled a shot from Cesc Fabregas, and Messi netted a follow-up attempt to equalize five minutes into the half.

Messi's winner came in the 73rd minute, on a direct free kick. Once again, Toño could have done much better, but Messi's effort was well placed to the keeper's right and would have beat a number of keepers. Granada had a couple of solid half-chances in stoppage time to steal a point, but failed to capitalize on all of them.

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