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In-form Messi keeps Barcelona’s slim La Liga hopes alive as Blaugrana thump Granada

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Granada 4-0.
Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Granada 4-0.
ANALYST
Modified 11 Jan 2021, 21:33 IST
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Barcelona have moved to third in the La Liga table following a commanding 4-0 win against Granada on Saturday. The Blaugrana completely dominated their opponents and deservedly claimed all three points.

Lionel Messi was once against the architect of Barcelona’s victory, as he scored twice in the team's win against Granada. However, it was Antoine Griezmann who opened the scoring for Ronaldo Koeman’s side after 12 minutes.

The Frenchman went from scorer to provider as he set up Messi to double Barcelona’s lead. The Argentinian made it 3-0 a few minutes before half time and Griezmann rounded the scoreline in the 63rd minute.

This was one of Barcelona’s best performances and Messi was at the centre of everything the team did. The 33-year-old’s highlight was a sumptuous free-kick, which made a mockery of Granada’s human-wall.

Messi keeps Barcelona’s La Liga hopes alive

Barcelona continues to rely on Messi’s genius to win games this season. The Argentine captain once again showed why he is so important to the club’s title ambitions.

The Blaugrana currently sit in third place in the league table and trail Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid by three and four points, respectively. By beating Granada on Saturday, Barcelona kept their slim hopes of winning the league alive.

Manager Ronald Koeman was delighted with the win and spoke about how important Lionel Messi is to Barcelona.

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"Barca need Messi, we need him to achieve great things and fight for titles," Koeman said in the aftermath of the game, as quoted by Goal. "With the score, we were able to make changes and rest very important players like Messi and De Jong."
"If all the players are in good condition, we can compete for all the titles. This streak of results gives us a lot of confidence," Koeman added.

A three-horse race on the cards

Atletico Madrid are now clear favourites to win La Liga as they firmly sit at the top of the table. Despite being just a point above Real Madrid and four ahead of Barcelona, the Rojiblancos have two games in hand.

However, it is not a guarantee that Diego Simeone’s side will win both their outstanding games. Should they drop points, it will open the door for a three-horse race in the Spanish top-flight.

Published 11 Jan 2021, 21:33 IST
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