Apr 12, 2014 at 7pm UK at ​Estadio Nuevo Los Cármenes
Granada
1-0
Barcelona
Brahimi (16')
FT(HT: 1-0)

Neymar (45'), Messi (65'), Busquets (67')

Live Commentary: Granada 1-0 Barcelona - as it happened

Barcelona head coach Gerardo 'Tata' Martino looks on during the Champions League quarter final match against Atletico Madrid on April 9, 2014
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's commentary of the La Liga clash at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes where Granada beat Barcelona 1-0.

Barcelona travelled to the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes on Saturday knowing that three points against out-of-form Granada would see them return to the top of La Liga.

Both sides had chances in an end-to-end first 45 minutes of football, but it was Granada that led at the interval courtesy of a smart finish from Yacine Brahimi.

Barcelona had a number of chances in the second period, but could not make the breakthrough as their title challenge suffered a serious blow.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


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6.31pmEvening all! Week 33 in La Liga continues from the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes as Granada welcome Barcelona. The home side have lost their last three in the league, with that run of form leaving them in 15th spot in the table. Barcelona, meanwhile, enter the match knowing that three points would move them top of the table, with Atletico Madrid not playing until tomorrow. Right, the team news is already in.

6.34pmTEAMS:

GRANADA: Karnezis; Nyom, Ilori, Murillo, Foulquier; Iturra, Rico, Recio; Brahimi, Piti, El Arabi

BARCA: Pinto; Montoya, Mascherano, Busquets, Adriano; Song, Cesc, Iniesta; Pedro, Messi, Neymar


6.37pmSo there we have it. No real surprises in the Granada XI this evening, with Piti starting as the lone forward. Youssef El-Arabi is also in the XI, while there are places in midfield for Manuel Iturra and Fran Rico. Barcelona, meanwhile, have serious problems in defence with Carlos Puyol, Gerard Pique and Marc Bartra all injured. As a result, Sergio Busquets switches to centre-back. That opens up a spot in midfield for Alex Song, but Xavi and Alexis Sanchez are both on the bench. Interesting team selection from the Barca boss.

6.40pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Barcelona have won each of the last five matches. The corresponding fixture last season ended in a 2-1 away win, while Barcelona were 4-0 winners at the Camp Nou earlier this season. The Catalan outfit also recorded a 1-0 win in this stadium when they made the trip in the 2011/12 campaign. The omens are not too strong for Granada that is for certain.

6.43pmAs mentioned, Granada have been pulled into the relegation mix in recent weeks following three straight defeats. They have not won in the league since beating Elche on March 22, with that run of form leaving them in 15th position. They are just three points ahead of 18th-place Getafe, but victory this evening would move them into 13th, which is an indication of the closeness in the bottom half of the division.

6.46pmGranada's home form this season has been disappointing, meanwhile. No team has lost more league games at home (nine), while they have picked up just six wins. They have also lost nine times on their travels, picking up just four wins in the process. Strong form at the turn of the year boosted their top-half hopes, but the table paints a very different story after 32 matches. They are not yet safe in La Liga.

6.49pmGoals have also been a problem for Granada this season, with just 29 strikes in their 32 games making them one of the lowest scorers in the league. Barcelona have not had such problems, however, with their total of 92 goals the highest in the division. Down the other end, Granada have conceded 46 times to Barcelona's 26.



6.52pmBarcelona remain firmly in the title hunt with six games remaining. As it stands, they sit second in the table, one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid and two points ahead of third-place Real Madrid. However, they enter the match off the back of huge disappointment in the Champions League during the week, when they were knocked out in the quarter-finals by Atletico after losing 1-0 at the Vicente Calderon.

6.55pmThe Catalan outfit's away form this season has been strong with 10 wins from their 16 matches, but three of their four league defeats in this campaign have come on their travels. With respect to Granada, if Barcelona are to retain the title this season, then these are the games that they simply need to win. However, it remains to be seen whether there is a hangover from the clash with Atletico on Wednesday.

6.58pmPREDICTION: Granada enter the match off the back of a really poor run of form and while Barcelona might have a hangover from their Champions League exit last week, I expect the Catalan outfit to be far too strong on the night. I can see Granada scoring due to Barcelona's problems in defence, but Gerardo Martino has so many weapons in attack. My score prediction is Barcelona 3-1.

1 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. You just get the feeling that Granada need to ride out the opening 20 or so minutes this evening. Right, the away side get the first half of action underway.

2 minJust a reminder that following this match we have live text coverage of Real Madrid against Almeria - be sure to remain with us for that one. As expected, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the opening couple of minutes, with Mascherano showing his intent by driving forward from central defence.

4 minIt must be said that there is a wonderful atmosphere inside the stadium this evening. Not quite a full house, but the noise levels are high. Barcelona break down the left with Pedro, but Nyom is across to clear at the vital moment. Not too much to report in terms of chances thus far, but Barca are in control of the ball.

6 minPedro remains bright for Barcelona as the Spaniard drives down the right before delivering into the Granada box, but Foulquier is across to clear. The resulting corner is worked short to Messi, but the Argentine is denied by four red and white shirts. Neymar drives into the Granada box moments later, but the Brazilian loses control of the ball at the vital moment. Six minutes on the clock and still goalless.

8 minOpportunity for Barcelona to threaten from a set piece as Foulquier fells Messi on the edge of the box following smart running from the Argentine. The resulting free kick is taken by Messi, but his effort is straight into the wall. Granada cannot get out of their own half at the moment as Barca force another corner.

10 minA poor kick from Pinto allows Granada to enjoy a period of possession in the Barcelona half, but Piti loses control under pressure from Busquets, who is indeed playing at centre-back for Barca. The pressure continues from the home side with a series of throw-ins and then a corner, but Busquets rises highest to clear.

13 minMessi is again involved for Barcelona as the Argentine finds some space outside the Granada box before feeding Fabregas, but the ball just runs away from the midfielder. Granada are down the other end with Nyom moments later, but his cross is straight into the arms of Pinto. End-to-end football in this La Liga clash.

14 minCHANCE! Barcelona's best chance of the first period falls to Montoya as the right-back is found by Adriano from the opposite side, but his header is straight into the arms of the Granada stopper.

16 minPossession football from Barcelona, but not too much in the final third as Granada continue to squeeze the play in defensive areas. Pedro attempts to combine with Montoya, but Foulquier is across to clear once more. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one - will be vital this evening.

16 minGOAL! Granada 1-0 Barcelona (Brahimi)

17 minGranada take the lead with 16 minutes on the clock as Brahimi drives into the Barcelona box before finishing into the bottom corner. Terrible defending from the champions, who were all over the place once more.

19 minIt was a smashing finish from Brahimi, but Barcelona's defensive problems made it easier than it should have been. Pedro is down the other end for the away side moments later, but Foulquier clears at the vital moment. Barcelona are in serious trouble here with 19 minutes on the clock. Can Messi & Co. respond?

22 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Neymar feeds Adriano inside the Granada box, but his effort is high and wide of the crossbar. It has been a decent response from the Catalan outfit, but the home side remain a threat on the counter. It is more of an open match than Barcelona would have wanted that is for certain.

24 minGranada want a penalty as El-Arabi goes down inside the box under pressure from Mascherano, but the referee is not interested. It would have been harsh, but it is another poor moment from the Barcelona back four. Not too much to report in terms of chances in the last few minutes, but it is an end-to-end contest.

26 minHalf-chance for Barcelona as Neymar meets a cross from Montoya, but his header is high of the crossbar. Chances are arriving for the away side, but not really clear-cut opportunities. Granada, meanwhile, remain a serious threat down the other end with the movement of Brahimi and El-Arabi, who are both impressing.

28 minAnother sight of goal for Barcelona as Pedro is found by Messi inside the box, but his final effort is weak. The away side are enjoying more of the ball, but the attacks continue to arrive at both ends. That said, clear opportunities have been at a premium in the opening 28 minutes of action at the Los Carmenes.

30 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona as Montoya drives down the right before finding Fabregas, who takes a touch before striking towards goal, but Ilori is on hand to make a sensational block. Brilliant from the on-loan Liverpool defender. Better from the Catalan outfit.

33 minAnother half-chance for the away side as Neymar strikes one from distance, but the Granada stopper is on hand to make the save. Strong pressure from Barcelona as they force back-to-back corners, but Nyom and Ilori take it in turns to clear the danger. Little over 10 minutes of the first period remaining at Los Carmenes.

35 minAppears to be a real problem for Neymar as the Barcelona attacker calls for treatment following a clash with Iturra, but there did not seem to be too much in it. The Brazilian returns to his feet following a period on the ground. This opening period has just flown past and still Granada lead from that Brahimi strike.

37 minCHANCE! Incredible chance for the home side as Piti strikes one from the edge of the box, Pinto makes a meal of it before it falls to El-Arabi, but Pinto manages to make the save from close range. Terrible goalkeeping followed by a brilliant save. That is Pinto in a nutshell!

39 minAnother Barcelona attack comes to an end as Adriano's cross drifts out of play. The away side continue to enjoy plenty of the ball, but they have been poor in forward areas. Messi, meanwhile, has hardly featured. That said, you still get the feeling that Granada need to score again if they are to take something from this contest. Little over five minutes of the first period remaining.

41 minHalf-chance for the away side once more as Neymar drives inside before finding Iniesta, but his effort is deflected wide of the post. Moments later, there is Round Two between Iturra and Neymar, but the referee is on hand to calm proceedings. It remains 1-0 Granada, but the pressure is arriving from the Catalan outfit.

44 minMessi finds himself in front of the Granada goal following a smart flick from Song, but the Argentine had moved into an offside position. Plenty of smart touches and flicks on the edge of the Granada box, but Barcelona are really struggling to create clear openings. Those in the Spanish capital will be enjoying what they have seen thus far this evening that is for certain.

45 min+1Booking for Neymar as the Barcelona forward kicks Nyom after losing possession of the ball. Poor from the Spaniard. The fourth official indicates that we will play an additional one minute.

45 min+2HALF-TIME: Granada 1-0 Barcelona

7.47pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with Granada leading 1-0 courtesy of a really smart finish from Brahimi. Barcelona have had their moments, but have been largely frustrated in the final third by a compact Granada outfit. Much for the champions to ponder that is for certain.

7.52pmSTATISTICS: Barcelona have dominated possession with 78%, while they have had 13 attempts, just three of which have been on target. Granada, meanwhile, have hit the target with both of their attempts thus far. There has been just the one yellow card, meanwhile, with Neymar booked towards the end of the half.

7.57pmBENCH WATCH: The home side have a number of attacking options on their bench this evening in the shape of Bravo, Coeff, Fatau and Ighalo. Meanwhile, Barcelona have the likes of Sanchez, Tello and Xavi in reserve. Both managers have talent on the sidelines there is no question about that.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second 45 minutes. Can Barcelona really afford to lose this match and still remain in the title race? Granada smell blood here, but you just get the feeling that they need at least one more goal. Right, the home side get the second period underway.



48 minNo changes for either side at the interval, which is not much of a surprise at this stage of proceedings. However, I suspect that both managers will consider alterations if the score remains 1-0 for the next 20 minutes or so. Bright start to the second period from Barcelona, who have taken control of the possession.

50 minNot too much in terms of chances in the early stages of the half, but Barcelona continue to threaten with possession in forward areas. Neymar attempts to slide a pass towards Messi, but Ilori is on hand to clear. Moments later, Fabregas looks for the run of Adriano, but Piti is back to perform his defensive duties.

52 minAnother Barcelona attack comes to an end as Messi cannot gather a return pass from Iniesta. Granada attempt to break with Brahimi, but Song is across to clear. One-way traffic as Barcelona dominate, but Granada still have the lead. Still plenty of time for the Catalan outfit to turn this contest around.

53 minCHANCE! Brilliant from Messi as the Barcelona forward dances into the box before drilling a low cross towards Neymar, but Nyom is across to clear at the vital moment. Granada survive once more.

55 minCHANCE! Barcelona come close once more as Fabregas meets a headed pass from Neymar, but Karnezis is on hand to make a wonderful save. The pressure is increasing as the half gathers pace.

56 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Granada this time as Rico releases Brahimi inside the Barcelona box, but Montoya is across to make a fine challenge at the vital moment. End-to-end football!

59 minCHANCE! Granada just cannot get out of their own half at the moment as Barcelona continue to force the issue in the final third. This time Neymar finds some space inside the Granada box, but his effort is wide of the post. Still 1-0 Granada with little over 30 minutes of football remaining.

61 minJust a reminder that following this match we have live text coverage of Real Madrid against Almeria - be sure to remain with me for that. Barcelona continue to threaten as Adriano delivers towards the far post, but Iniesta cannot make contract. Still no movement on either bench with 61 minutes on the clock.

63 minSAVE! Opportunity for Barcelona to threaten from a free kick as Neymar is felled outside the Granada box by Rico, who had two bites at the Brazilian. The resulting set piece is taken by Messi, but the Granada stopper is across to make a fantastic save. The pressure continues to build.

64 minSAVE! Another brilliant save from the Granada stopper, who denies Busquets following a period of pin-ball inside the Granada box. Surely Barcelona are close to finding an equaliser here.

66 minSUB! First change of the match is made by Granada as Brahimi is replaced by Bravo, who is a 20-year-old winger from Granada's B team. Little under 25 minutes of this La Liga contest remaining.

68 minFree kick for Granada and booking for Busquets as the Barcelona midfielder handles outside his own box. The resulting set piece is taken deep towards Bravo, but it goes out of play for a goal kick. Still no movement on the Barcelona bench, which is a real surprise at this stage of proceedings.

68 minSUB! The change is made moments later as Alba replaces Adriano for Barcelona. A left-back for a left-back. Not quite what the Barcelona supporters would have wanted with their side still 1-0 behind.

70 minStill Granada cannot get out of their own half as Barcelona continue to force the issue, but they just cannot find the back of the net. Iniesta combines with Messi on the edge of the Granada box, but Ilori is on hand to clear the danger once more. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining in this La Liga contest.

73 minSUB! Granada make their second change of the match as Frenchman Coeff enters the field in place of Piti, who just rolled his ankle. Defensive move from the home manager that is for certain.



75 minCHANCE AND SUB! Another chance for the away side as Neymar meets a cross from Alba, but his header is high and wide of the crossbar. Moments later, Sanchez enters the field in place of Busquets.

77 minNeymar once again meets a through pass from Iniesta, but the Brazilian is found in an offside position. El-Arabi tries his luck for the home side moments later, but his wild effort is high and wide of the crossbar. Time is just starting to run out for Barcelona, who really cannot afford not to win this contest.

79 minNeymar is again involved for the away side as he dances into the box, but once more Nyom is across to clear the danger. The Granada full-back has been brilliant this evening. You just get the feeling that there is at least one more goal in this match. Barcelona can still turn this around there is no question about that.

82 minAs it stands, Barcelona would remain one point behind leaders Atletico Madrid, who would have a game in hand. Barcelona threaten once more as Sanchez finds Pedro at the far post, but his effort is wide of the post. It is a case of anywhere will do for Granada, meanwhile, as they continue to drop deeper and deeper.

82 minCHANCE! Another chance for Barcelona as Iniesta finds some space inside a crowded box, but his placed effort is just wide of the post. Another chance comes and goes for the Catalan outfit.

84 minAnother half-chance for Iniesta as the Barcelona midfielder dances between two challenges, but once more his effort is wide of the post. Little over five minutes of normal time remaining. Can Granada hold on?

86 minMontoya tries his luck for Barcelona this time after driving into the Granada box, but his effort is straight at the goalkeeper. El-Arabi is down the other end moments later, but Alba clears the danger. Messi again meets a cross from Sanchez in the next attack, but Ilori, who has been brilliant, is across to clear.

88 minBarcelona continue to force the issue with possession inside the Granada box, but once more the home side clear as Messi attempts to find Iniesta. Montoya finds himself on the right moments later, but his cross is straight into the arms of the Granada stopper. Little over two minutes of normal time remaining.

88 minCHANCE! Another chance for Messi from an Alba cross, but his header is high of the crossbar. Time is running out for the away side with 88 minutes on the clock.

89 minCHANCE! WOW! Incredible chance for Granada to win it as El-Arabi finds himself in a one-on-one situation with Pinto, but the Barcelona stopper is on hand to make a wonderful save. What a chance!

90min+1SUB! Granada make their third and final change as Mainz enters the field in place of Murillo, who leaves the field on a stretcher. There will be a fair chunk of added time here.

90 min+3We are into the third of fourth additional minutes this evening. Still Barcelona force the issue, but they just cannot find that elusive touch inside the box as Pedro fires straight into the arms of the Granada keeper.

90 min+3Free kick for Barcelona as Iturra fells Mascherano on the edge of the Granada box...

90 min+4... however, Messi's delivery is headed clear once more. Granada are almost there. What a result this would be. Those in the Spanish capital will be hoping that Granada do indeed hold on.

8.50pmFULL-TIME: Granada 1-0 Barcelona

8.51pmSo there we have it. Barcelona have been beaten on the road once more. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to remain with us for action from the Bernabeu. Until then!

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