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LaLiga 2019/20, Granada 2-0 Barcelona: 5 Hits and Flops

  • Five hits and flops, as defending champions Barcelona were stunned into their second league defeat by newly-promoted Granada.
ANALYST
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 22 Sep 2019, 10:28 IST

#4 Hit: Lionel Messi

Messi was clearly not at 100% and yet, still was Barcelona
Messi was clearly not at 100% and yet, still was Barcelona's best player after coming on at half-time

A toss-up between himself and Frenkie de Jong, it seems rather typical that despite only featuring for 45 minutes while clearly not 100% match fit, Lionel Messi was Barcelona's best player.

Therein lies the problem. Messi's calf injury was worse than first feared and naturally, the club have been cautious in dealing with the issue - one that is to the detriment of the team's balance. Nonetheless being the talisman he is, the Argentine maestro refused to make excuses and after an encouraging but not faultless display in midweek, he featured for slightly longer here.

Operating in somewhat of a free roam role between midfield, where Ivan Rakitic previously was, and attack, it allowed the 32-year-old regular touches on the ball as he looked to create chances at will. 

Although there's an understanding blossoming between himself and fellow substitute Ansu Fati, the same couldn't really be said for many other teammates during this one. His 71.9% pass completion rate was a team-low, though that comes with the territory when you play as many high-risk, high-reward passes as Messi tends to. 

He created two key passes and completed four successful dribbles, both of which were more than any other player on the pitch over the 90 minutes. It was a recurring theme though that his attack-minded teammates failed to capitalise, as they created more with their talisman in tow.

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Published 22 Sep 2019, 10:28 IST
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