Granada 2-0 Barcelona: 3 reasons why the Catalans lost the match | LaLiga 2019/20
#2 Another listless display in attack
Barcelona have one of the deadliest front-lines in world football, with Luis Suarez widely regarded as the finest center-forward in the world over the last decade, while Antoine Griezmann has a Ballon d'Or podium finish to his name.
The game against Granada marked Lionel Messi's first LaLiga appearance for the Blaugrana after returning from a calf injury, but the Argentine was only fit enough for the bench.
Even in his absence, Barcelona still had enough firepower to dispatch Granada, with Valverde naming an attack comprising of Suarez, Griezmann and the La Masia trained Carles Perez.
However, keeping up with their sloppy displays of late, Barcelona totally failed to create anything of note in the first half, and struggled to impose their will on a resolute Granada back four.
Indeed, Rui Silva was a relative spectator in the Granada goal for much of the match, and this would have been very worrying for Ernersto Valverde given the quality of players he had on the field.
Messidependencia has been in full force at Barcelona in recent years, and with each passing minute of the game, it became glaringly obvious that the defending champions did not pose any threat without their mercurial Argentine on the field.
Valverde switched things up at the break, bringing on his captain and Ansu Fati in place of the hapless duo of Carles Perez and Junior Firpo, but despite the presence of their record goalscorer, it was largely the same pedestrian attacking display.
Messi is a legend capable of changing the course of a game, but there is a limit to what he can achieve, and despite adding verve and tempo to the Barcelona attack, there was a lack of sync with his attacking teammates, while he also showed signs of not being at his best, which is understandable given that he only just returned from injury.
Indeed, Barcelona did not have a shot on target until the dying moments of the game, with the effort on goal coming from none other than Messi.