Barcelona 2-0 Granada: Late Xavi Stunner Grabs Win for La Liga Leaders
Barcelona 2-0 Granada (full time)
Live La Liga commentary
Xavi (BCN) 86', Borja Gomez own goal (BCN) 90+1'.
Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Song, Mascherano, Adriano (Tello); Busquets, Thiago (Xavi), Cesc; Villa (Pedro), Alexis, Messi.
Granada: Toño; Nyom, Iñigo Lopez, Borja Gomez, Siqueira; Iriney, Mikel Rico, Torje (Juanma), Brahimi, Orellana; Floro Flores (El Arabi).
That's your lot from the live commentary tonight; it's been an entertaining game in Barcelona which the home side have eventually ground out a win from. Granada are still winless—but they should take plenty of heart from their defensive display.
Thanks for joining me tonight, I'll be back soon with more live commentary right here on Bleacher Report.
Stay tuned to the site for plenty of post-match reaction coming shortly—see you again soon!
It's five wins from five, just about, for Barcelona who stay clear at the top—but this was far from easy going for the league leaders. It has taken an incredible strike from Xavi Hernandez to win the game for Tito Vilanova's side, after some excellent defending for 85 minutes from Iñigo Lopez and co.
Full time in the Nou Camp
Barcelona 2 Granada 0
That's game over now. Messi skips past two tackles on the right byline and pulls a cross along the six yard box, and Borja is stretching to clear—but diverts the ball into his own net. Harsh on Granada after defending so well all game.
Barcelona 2 Granada 0
Borja Gomez own goal, 90+1'
90'—Off the post! Messi breaks through and wallops a low shot at the near post—but he hits the outside of the woodwork.
88'—Pedro should finish it, easy. Alexis skips inside past two challenges and lays the ball off, but Pedro tries a chip into the net which flies over the bar. Moments after, Alexis goes for goal himself from the inside left channel which Toño saves.
What a hit!! Xavi Hernandez finally breaks the deadlock with a sumptuously-taken volley. The ball breaks to him on the edge of the area, he takes one touch and then simply leathers the ball right-footed into the top corner, off the crossbar. Finally Toño is beaten and it has taken a strike of immense quality and accuracy to do so.
Barcelona 1 Granada 0
Xavi, 86 mins
84'—HOW IS STILL 0-0?! What a great double save from Toño, who denies both Pedro and the follow up from about three attackers to beat the ball away. Incredible performance from the Granada goalkeeper. Granada again break and get a 3-on-2 against Barcelona's defence, but can't find the telling pass at the end.
83'—Tello makes another break down the left and crosses low again, but this time it's cleared. Granada immediately break up the other end and it's one-on-one for El-Arabi against Valdes... but the Barça keeper stands up and makes the save.
82'—Alexis gets up to head goalwards from a cross on the right, but it lacks power and the 'keeper easily grasps it in the air.
79'—Remember Messi's spats with his team mates in the first half? Now he's having a go at Iñigo Lopez. Or perhaps just asking him to stop blocking Barcelona's shots.
78'—TOP SAVE!! Lots more urgency from Barcelona now—and it's another top save from Toño who this time denies Xavi, running in to hit first time a low shot after Tello's cross.
76'—CESC SHOULD SCORE! Quicker play now in the box from Barcelona and Messi feeds Cesc in the area, but his shot is really well tipped around the post by Toño. Definitely should have made it 1-0 though, despite the good save.
75'—All kinds of madness. A through ball sees Iñigo Lopez crash to ground under the pressure of Alexis, who then also goes to ground after hitting his shot straight at the keeper, an the referee ignores it all and waves play on.
Granada final sub: Jaime on for Brahimi
Substitute for Barcelona: Tello on for Adriano. That's Barça's final change.
70'—20 minutes left in the Nou Camp and in all honesty Barcelona don't look all that close to scoring at the moment. The passing isn't quite crisp or quick enough around the penalty area. Borja Gomez is booked for cynically taking out Leo Messi mid-flight in the centre circle.
69'—GOOD DEFENDING AGAIN!! Nyom this time is the man in the right place, stretching to clear when Messi looked favourite to tap in at the far post after Pedro did very well down the right flank.
68'—Pedro skips a couple of tackles but then Alves is slack in his control of the ball, losing possession again. Alexis has switched over to the left side now to let Pedro attack the right flank.
67'—Granada earn themselves a succession of corners but Valdes punches one clear and Mascherano heads out from another. Set pieces definitely Granada's best chance of springing a surprise at this point.
Second Granada sub: Gabriel Torje off, Juanma on.
64'—GOOD DEFENDING! Adriano gets another low cross over towards Messi but Granada defend stoutly. Moments later Alves frees Messi inside the area and he has a chance to shoot low and left-footed—but Toño is equal to the challenge. Good save.
62'—Some of the natives are getting restless; plenty of whistles and jeers from the crowd can be heard. Barcelona haven't had possession in the final third of a few minutes now and they would be expected to grow more into the game and become more of a threat, not allow Granada to do it. That's what's happening though.
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