Barcelona embarked on a journey to Los Carmenes, where they encountered a struggling Granada team, determined to maintain their position in the La Liga standings, neck and neck with Real Madrid at the very top.
The Catalans’ last three games have not been easy ones; they were held to a 2-2 draw against Mallorca then, very fortunately, managed two 1-0 victories over Sevilla in La Liga and Porto in the Champions League.
Not to add, their injury problems have caused more setbacks. And tonight, their issues persisted as they unexpectedly let up two goals against Granada but mounted a comeback to earn a 2-2 draw.
Though many will contend that their stoppage-time winner should have counted, the Catalans have now lost to the Andalusian side in their last four meetings, demonstrating their ongoing troubles against them.
As we approach another international break, the Catalans put on a pretty bewildering display tonight. They were by no means subpar, but their dominance was undone by the clinicality of their opponents.
With any luck, this will give the injured players time to heal and give the squad a fresh start before a critical stretch of games that begins at the end of October.
Here are the ranked individual performances from Barcelona’s disappointing outcome.
Marc Andre Ter Stegen: Five stars
Although it is difficult to hold the German responsible for either of Granada’s goals, he will be especially upset with himself for giving up the first one in spite of the silly mistake.
7/10 for Joao Cancelo
One of the more proactive players for Barcelona. took a few chances that would have cost the Catalans, but his self-assurance with the ball and his willingness to take chances are usually advantageous. He completed eleven passes into the final third and had a 100% success rate on dribbles.
4/10 for Jules Kounde
After being totally outmanoeuvred by Bryan Zaragoza for the second goal for Granada, the Frenchman’s dismal evening worsened when he was forced to substitute himself because of a blow to his knee, adding to Barcelona’s injury problems.
Xavi has yet another injury headache. Images courtesy of Fran Santiago/Getty Images
6.5/10 for Andreas Christensen
A strong showing from the Dane, who completed 97% of his 120 passes with the ball and settled into the game nicely following Granada’s shocking goal in the opening 17 seconds.
Alejandro Balde: 6.7 out of 10.
Balde, ever the energizer, kept things flowing down the left flank. Even if his crossing may have been better, he made a critical delivery that led to Sergi Roberto’s equalizer.
Gavi: 6/ 10.
The hosts scored the first goal due to an error he made in the first few seconds, but the young player showed incredible fortitude to get back up and continue moving forward with the ball at his feet.
7/10 for Ilkay Gundogan
dependable when in control, delivered some excellent, line-breaking passes, and maintained the flow of play in a very Gundogan manner.
6.5/10 for Fermin Lopez
Fermin, who was given his first-ever start for Barcelona, occasionally displayed some deft footwork to escape awkward situations and attempted to move the ball as swiftly as possible. Lots of space for improvement, though.
Yamal Lamine: 7/10
One of the key talking points will be the teenager’s third start in nine days, raising questions about weariness.
Nevertheless, the adolescent created history once more when he scored just before halftime to become the Blaugrana’s youngest goalscorer ever.
Back into the records once more. AFP/JORGE GUERRERO photo via Getty Images(
Ferran Torres: 5 out of 10.
Ferran, starting at the front of the line in lieu of an injured Robert Lewandowski, struggled to deliver the spark that he has demonstrated this season due to a few careless touches and passes.
In the upcoming days, his role in the offside goal will be a major talking topic.
7/10 for Joao Felix
Barcelona’s most active player on the ball, perhaps. His movement and link-play were deft, and he also had the ability to ride challenges and pull opponents out. Despite being off-balance, received the assist on Lamine Yamal’s goal as well.
The Portuguese attacker is really unfortunate to have his game-winning goal disallowed, but he still has reason to celebrate.
Ronaldo Araujo: 7.5
Araujo, who replaced the injured Kounde, did a great job of controlling the defense and even had a few close misses when scoring.
7/10 for Sergi Roberto
produced a brilliant move into the box, didn’t make many mistakes, and gave Barcelona the crucial equalizer with four minutes left in normal time.
salvaging an outcome. AFP/JORGE GUERRERO photo via Getty Images(
Romeu Oriol: 6.0
Romeu, who had a fantastic start to life at Barcelona, has struggled with form lately, but he did well to anchor the midfield after entering the game, which should give the Spaniard more confidence.