Granada vs. Barcelona: Final score 1-0, Barca's title hopes severely damaged

Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno

The title race isn't over, but the hopes of the Blaugrana are on life support after another league loss, this time against Granada.

Despite having most of the possession, generating nearly all of the chances, and outshooting Granada 28-5, Barcelona could not solve Orestis Karnezis and fell 1-0 against Granada. Yacine Brahimi's goal early in the first half was the difference, as Barca's dreams of another league title are in serious trouble.

Granada's first chance on goal came in the 16th minute and they did not waste it.

Fran Rico placed a curling pass right into the path of a charging Brahimi, who raced right past the Barcelona defense, forcing José Manuel Pinto off his line. The goalkeeper couldn't close the space quick enough, and Brahimi skillfully placed his shot past Pinto and inside the near post to give Granada the 1-0 lead.

Barca answered the goal as you might expect with an avalanche of pressure on the Granada goal, but the home side stood strong. Karnezis made several good saves, including a denial of Neymar after the Brazilian launched a shot from more than 30 yards out that the Granada keeper was able to turn around the post.

Karnezis amazing play continued in the 63rd minute when he denied Lionel Messi with a suburb diving save on a free kick. On the ensuing corner, the Granada keeper made another excellent save, preventing Sergio Busquets from scoring the equalizer for Barca.

Despite a flurry of late chances, including some near misses from Andrés Iniesta, and some brilliant individual play from Neymar, Barcelona simply could not beat the Granada defense. Every time Barca broke through and seemed sure to find a goal, Karnezis was there to slam the door in their faces.

With the loss, Barca's title hopes are now on life support as a win by Atlético Madrid on Sunday would leave the Blaugrana four points back with just five games left to play.

Granada: Karnezis, Nyom, Ilori, Murillo (Mainz 90'), Foulquier, Iturra, Fran Rico, Recio, Brahimi (Bravo 66'), Piti (Coeff 73'), El Arabi.

Goals: Brahimi (16')

Barcelona: Pinto, Montoya, Mascherano, Busquets (Sánchez 74'), Adriano (Alba 67'), Song, Cesc, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Neymar

Goals: None.

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