Another far from impressive Barcelona display, or maybe it’s just us, used to, or expecting some sort of impossible level of perfection? Whatever it is, Barcelona came out of their scrappy league match in Granada with a 1-0 win, won through a fine Xavi free kick, scoring his fourth goal of the season.
Too much criticism has been made from Lionel Messi missing a penalty in injury time against Sevilla. Again, those levels of perfection that everyone expects create huge turmoil when something goes slightly amiss. Guardiola had to calm everybody down in a press conference, talking about fatigue. Lionel Messi hasn’t scored in three straight matches, and people think there is something wrong with him.
Barcelona had a hard time, but deserved to go up in front (33rd minute) and also win by a larger margin. Granada weren’t the most welcoming of foes, but were hardly able to create any chances, and had two players sent off, a common, maybe too common event in Barcelona matches.
Guardiola continued with some rotation, giving Isaac Cuenca 70 minutes while Andres Iniesta and David Villa came off the bench. Lionel Messi, as usual, got the full 90 minutes, missing chances from highlight goals twice. Sometimes, these balls just don’t go in. It’ll happen, no need to worry.
At least for a day, Barcelona are back on top of the La Liga, waiting for the results of Levante and Real Madrid, who both have home matches on Wednesday.
One last thing about Xavi, who’s suddenly found scoring touch – this was his fourth goal of the season in league play. He hasn’t scored more than 3 in the previous two seasons and his career best is 7, back in 2007-2008, the last time Barcelona didn’t win the league title. Coincidence? Probably.
No matter the style points and who scored, Barca, still without Pique and Puyol at the center of their defense, are happy to come away with a win, even against Granada, visiting Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes for the first time.