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La Liga 2016/17: Barcelona 1-0 Granada - 5 Talking Points

Sri Nishanth
35.48K   //    30 Oct 2016, 09:23 IST
BARCELONA, SPAIN - OCTOBER 29:  Lionel Messi (2nd R) of FC Barcelona fights for the ball with Mehdi Carcela-Gonzalez (R) and Matthieu Saunier (3rd R) of Granada CF during the La Liga match between FC Barcelona and Granada CF at Camp Nou stadium on October 29, 2016 in Barcelona, Spain.  (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Even Messi struggled to break past the Granada defence 

Saturday’s late kick-off from Spain had Barcelona locking horns with the team at the bottom of the table in Granada at the Camp Nou. In a game, that looked like a possible stroll in the park for the Catalan giants, the Andalusians put in a fantastic performance to frustrate Barcelona who earned a hard fought 1-0 victory to move into the second spot on the table. 

Barcelona now sits behind Zidane's Real Madrid after 10 games into the season with Atletico Madrid and Sevilla both just a point behind them. With a big game in the Champions League on Tuesday and a long injury list, Luis Enrique was forced to field a team that was not full-strength. With only 15 recognized first team players available, Enrique had to call in three players from the B squad to fill up with bench but their presence on the pitch was not required. 

Here are five talking points from an intense encounter from the Camp Nou. 

#1 Organized defence's frustrate Barcelona the most 

Barcelona has always had one style of playing their football and have more often been successful than not. However, there has always been one style of football that has managed to stop Barcelona, and that's a tightly organized defence that has the ability to soak in pressure and hit them on the counter. Teams like Atletico and Chelsea have frustrated Barcelona in the past with a tight defence while many of the smaller clubs in the La Liga try to adopt a similar formula. 

Tonight, Granada, the team with the worst defensive record in the league shut down Barcelona, the team with the best attacking record with what was a fantastic five-man defence that was helped by midfielders dropping back. Barcelona struggled to break through the defence and it took a brilliant piece of play from Suarez and Lionel Messi to break open the defence before Rafinha’s fantastic finish. 

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Sri Nishanth
Third year Sports Management student studying at Loughborough University. From Chennai, India and based in Loughborough, UK.
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