Almost 90 minutes gone, still no goal. Barcelona were creating chances, but not scoring. Only Messi managing more than two shots on goal.
Blaugrana's showing against Granada was just the same inept offense that has been criticized for weeks now, right? Wrong!
Yes, Barça struggled in attack and yes, they needed another late winner to beat a lesser team, but this match was different.
The close result was not because Barça's attack was weak or because the defense gave too many chances. It was not because no one was helping Messi.
The game was so close because Granada played a great match. More specifically, Toño gave a superb performance.
The Granada keeper was unbeatable for almost 90 minutes. In the end, it took a wonder goal from Xavi in the 87th minute to get one past the shot-stopper.
If a lesser player had been in goal, Barecelona would have had five goals when Xavi broke the deadlock.
Cristian Tello alone would have had three assists despite playing less than 20 minutes. The youngster was fantastic as a sub.
All clear to the title?
As it stands, Barcelona are eight points clear of Real Madrid after winning their fifth straight match.
If they can beat Sevilla next weekend, they will match their best start in team history, earning all 18 points from their first six games.
Cules will rightly still worry about the defense and other attacking options, but the dramatic win against Granada should give fans a bit of comfort.
They came up against a great force in goal and still managed to win. The same frustrations were present in this one, but the cause was not internal. That is an important difference to note.