Rafinha strike sinks Granada

Rafinha struck as Barcelona stuttered to a 1-0 victory over Granada in their La Liga clash at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening.

  • Barcelona 1 Granada 0
  • Rafinha finally breaks the deadlock on 48 minutes
  • Neymar can't beat Ochoa on 63 minutes
  • Suarez headers straight at the keeper late on

Match Summary

Barcelona were far from their best but still dominated Granada in terms of possession, although the hosts needed a spectacular goal from Rafinha to secure all three points.

The result sees Barca move ahead of Sevilla and Atletico Madrid into second place in the Liga standings, two points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Granada remain rooted to the foot of the table on a mere three points.

[FULL TIME | FINAL] FC Barcelona vs Granada CF (1-0) Rafinha (48’) Força Barça! #FCBGranada #FCBlive #CampNou1500

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Full Report

The hosts made a bright start with Lionel Messi releasing Neymar through on goal after just four minutes, only for the Brazilian's touch to let him down inside the box.

Messi then had a seventh minute shot deflected into the hands of Granada goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from a Neymar cut back, before the same player was adjudged to be offside as he latched onto a Javier Mascherano chip – although Ochoa held his ground and made the save regardless.

Luis Suarez expertly picked out by Messi on 21 minutes, but the Uruguayan was too eager to pull the trigger as the ball dropped to him and he mis-timed his kick.

Ivan Rakitic couldn't direct his 23rd minute header on target from a curled Messi delivery as Samuel Umtiti easily dealt with a low cross from Andreas Pereira after he had raced down the left flank.

Umtiti then headed a Neymar corner into the hands of Ochoa before Suarez dallied on the ball when seemingly through on goal from a superb Mascherano pass as Ruben Vezo made a good covering tackle.

Rakatic's wayward effort defected out for a corner, but this time, the away defence cleared with ease before Messi was crowded out as he looked to work some magic on the edge of the box.

Ochoa then kept out a Suarez shot on the turn before Vezo did well to track back and cut out a low Suarez delivery aimed at Neymar at the back post on 39 minutes as Granada failed to make the most of a quick breakaway.

Artem Kravets conceded possession too easily as he raced over the half-way line after being fed through by Andreas Pereira.

A more determined Barcelona emerged for the second half, with Rafinha acrobatically steering the ball into the back of the net in the 49th minute. The goalscorer had fed Neymar inside the box, but after his shot cam back off a post, Rafinha, with his back to goal, hooked the ball into the net.

Mascherano was off target with his 54th minute header from a Neymar corner before Suarez saw a shot from the right hand side deflected well off target.

Ochoa made a tremendous save to deny Neymar in a central position inside the box, on 63 minutes, as he controlled a superb Sergi Roberto cross from the right following his burst forward before firing goalwards.

Second-half Granada substitute Jeremie Boga did well to burst down the left flank  before cutting inside to create angle for the shot, but his effort lacked power and deflected out off of Denis Suarez.

A sneaky 73rd minute Messi free-kick was dinked to Neymar on the left of the Granada box, but the ball skipped up off the smooth surface and out of play with the Brazilian in chase.

Neymar was upended after a super run down the left flank before cutting inside, with Messi smashing the resultant free-kick into the Granada defensive wall.

Suarez really should have scored in the 82 minute after being picked out in the box by Mascherano but he headed his effort straight at Ochoa in the Granada goal.

And Messi saw his late dinked effort easily saved by Ochoa for the last real piece of action of this lacklustre tie.