Granada 2-0 Barcelona: 3 reasons why the Catalans lost the match | LaLiga 2019/20
Following their goalless stalemate in midweek against Borussia Dortmund, Barcelona travelled to the Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes to take on newly promoted Granada.
With Atletico Madrid held to a goalless draw at home to Celta Vigo in the earlier kickoff of the day, victory for Barcelona would have taken them to 10 points, top of the table on goal difference (pending the outcome of the clash between Sevilla and Real Madrid tomorrow).
However, that failed to happen, as Ernesto Valverde's men fell to a 2-0 defeat, with a goal from Ramon Azeez in the second minute and a 66th minute penalty by Alvaro Vadillo condemning the Catalans to their second defeat of the season, while also sending Granada top.
Given the importance of the fixture and quality of players within their ranks, this was a match that Barcelona were expected to win, and in this piece, we highlight three reasons why the Blaugrana fell to the shock defeat.
#3 A host of individual errors
Following the hamstring injury sustained by the otherwise very dependable Jordi Alba (this was his first injury in almost two years) in the game against Dortmund, new recruit Junior Firpo was handed a first start in the game against Granada.
Himself just returning from injury, the 21-year-old would have been looking to put in a good shift, but his Barcelona career had barely begun when things went horribly wrong.
With less than a minute gone on the clock, the former Real Betis man made two errors in quick succession, with Antonio Puertas needing no second invitation to drift past him before whipping in a low cross which fortuitously floated in the air over Ter Stegen off a Gerard Pique deflection for Nigerian international Ramon Azeez to head home.
This was a sign of things to come, as Barcelona made a host of individual errors throughout the cause of the game, with even the normally reliable Ter Stegen spilling a harmless cross right after the restart, although he reacted before Roberto Soldado could capitalize.
Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal had been on the field for barely two minutes when he committed a handball in the penalty box, and the spot-kick was awarded to Granada after consultation with VAR.
Alvaro Vadillo made no mistake from 18 yards out to put Granada 2-0 up and further compound Ernersto Valverde's woes.
Barcelona have earned a reputation over the years for being a pristine side who stick to the minutest of details, but against Granada, they put up an error-strewn performance, and they were justly punished for their sloppiness.