There was a huge twist in the La Liga title race as Barcelona fell to a damaging 1-2 loss against Granada despite Lionel Messi scoring in the first half. Barcelona could have gone top of the league table with a win against Granada last night. However, second-half goals from Darwin Machis and Jorge Molina ensured that this season's title race would go down to the wire.
Playing their game in hand over Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid, Lionel Messi and Barcelona fully expected to get the job done and claim a valuable 3 points. Things seemed to be going to plan in the first half when Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann combined beautifully to give Barcelona the lead.
Fans expected Barcelona to go on and dominate in the second half, however, Granada had a different plan. The visitors pulled off a heist as they secured a win with just 18% posession and 2 shots on target.
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman was a frustrated figure on the sidelines and he was even sent into the stands in the 67th minute for showing dissent after Granada's goal.
Speaking about the incident to Marca, the Barcelona manager said:
“I don’t understand the reason for my red card. I didn’t say anything bad about him nor did I insult him...but hey, if the fourth official wants to be the star of the night, then very well.
“I said something to the referee and he answered me in a way that had disrespected me, and I answered him back. But I did not insult him or anything.”
Speaking about the match, Koeman admitted that there was a lack of concentration in the Barcelona defense:
"Our concentration in defence wasn't as good in the second half. We created chances to score, especially at 1-0, but we lost our concentration.
"That's why we lost, and they closed us down well. We have to accept that we lost, but we're disappointed because this was a big opportunity.
"Now we have to be ready for Sunday. We've got five games left and everyone has a tough run-in. We have to win all five games to be champions."
With blockbuster clashes against Valencia and Atletico Madrid coming up, both Barcelona and Lionel Messi will have to be at their best if they are to claim the league title this season.
Just 5 games remain in the season and Lionel Messi will be determined to end the season on a high and inspire Barcelona to another trophy.