Barca hit four to cruise past Granada

Barcelona shrugged off the absence of Lionel Messi to keep their title challenge intact with a 4-1 victory over 10-man Granada at Los Carmenes on Sunday.

  • Granada 1 Barcelona 4
  • Ochoa outstanding for hosts
  • Suarez opens scoring on HT
  • Boga equalises early in 2nd half
  • Alcacer restores Barca's lead
  • Saunier OG and Neymar volley seal win

Match Summary

Messi was serving a one-match ban having picked up five bookings for the season, and although Barca took 44 minutes to break the deadlock through Luis Suarez, the result was never in doubt despite Jeremie Boga equalising early in the second half.

Paco Alcacer restored the visitors' lead on 64 minutes and Matthieu Saunier deflected Ivan Rakitic's shot past his own keeper less than a minute after Uche Agbo was sent off for the Andalusians with eight minutes left on the clock.

Neymar rounded off the win in stoppage time with a landmark goal to maintain the two-point gap to La Liga leaders Real Madrid, who also won earlier in the day.

Full Report

The hosts had Guillermo Ochoa to thank for keeping them in the contest at the break after the keeper pulled off numerous saves to thwart Luis Enrique's side.

Ochoa was called into action in the seventh minute when Suarez forced him into a fine reaction save, although he was beaten by the Uruguayan striker's chip on 24 minutes – only for the crossbar to come to the rescue.

The Mexico international had to be alert moments later to deny Suarez twice in quick succession, and the Barca ace was left frustrated after being denied by Ochoa again in the 34th minute.

But Suarez was finally rewarded in the final minute of the half as he raced onto Jordi Alba's aerial through-ball and chipped Ochoa to open the scoring.

Lucas Alcaraz's took just five second-half minutes to reply, with Saunier playing the perfect pass for substitute Boga to slot home in off the far post and level the score.

However, the Catalans regrouped and were back in front 14 minutes later when Suarez released Alcacer with a lofted pass and the Spaniard beat Ochoa at his near post.

Granada suffered a setback on 82 minutes with the dismissal of Agbo for a second yellow card, and the Blaugrana capitalised immediately with a third goal a minute later as Saunier diverted Rakitic's shot into goal.

There was still time for Neymar to register his 100th goal for the club, the Brazilian volleying home from six yards out after being picked out by Alcacer's cross.

Sunday's other results:

Sevilla 0-0 Sporting Gijon

Real Madrid 3-0 Alaves

Valencia 3-0 Deportivo La Coruna