Barcelona vs. Granada Score, Grades and Post-Match Reaction

Sam Tighe@@stighefootballWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterNovember 23, 2013

Barcelona continued their unbeaten start to the season by dispensing with Granada to the tune of a 4-0 scoreline.

Two penalties in the first half—converted by Andres Iniesta and Cesc Fabregas, respectively—set the tone for an easy win, with Alexis Sanchez and Pedro crowning it with second-half goals.

The game started in explosive fashion as Sanchez skipped a few challenges and fired goalward inside the first minute.

It set the tone for the half, as Barca's direct running would cause consistent problems for a slow Granada midfield on the turn and expose a questionable defensive line.

Goalkeeper Roberto was forced into three genuine saves inside the first seven minutes, but despite the home side's dominance on the statistical sheet, clear-cut chances were few and far between.

The breakthrough finally occurred in the 18th minute, with Fabregas drawing a foul inside the area from a combination of Dimitri Foulquier and Manuel Iturra, and Iniesta slotting the penalty home with consummate ease.

Granada responded with a few counters of their own, and Piti proved himself to be quite the handful when cutting in off the right flank; a searing strike from 30 yards left the crossbar shaking after 25 minutes.

Barca resumed normal service after that, with Neymar and Fabregas in particular working the ball well outside el Grana's box. Flow was difficult to come by after the challenges began to fly in, and the referee was forced to dish out a whopping five yellow cards in the first half alone.

The home side made it two after another penalty was awarded, this time drawn by Iniesta, and Fabregas stepped up to slam it right into the top corner.

The second half started in much the same fashion as the first ended, with Barca surging forward in their droves and challenging Granada to hit them on the counter.

Good work on the right preceded an excellent low cross into the box, and when Roberto palmed the ball back into the danger zone, Pedro inexplicably fired over from eight yards.

El Grana responded with a few dangerous crosses of their own, but any form of comeback was curtailed when Iturra was sent off for a second bookable offence.

Nyom, surging forward from right-back, had a chance to make it interesting but fired straight at Jose Manuel Pinto from three yards, and within 10 seconds Barca were 3-0 up and cruising.

From Pinto's throw, Neymar broke into the space vacated by Iturra and fed Alexis on the right-hand side, and the Chilean slotted home with ease.

Barca had time for one more goal as good work on the left allowed Fabregas to cross for a Pedro tap-in, and Gerardo Martin's men march on comfortably in La Liga.

Post-match reaction to come...


Key Player Grades

Andres Iniesta, Barcelona: A

For long periods, "Andresito" ran the show single-handedly in midfield. He was in god-like form, skipping challenges and surging into space. He also converted the first penalty of the game.


Manuel Iturra, Granada: D

Teams who get their central midfield spot on can frustrate and nullify Barcelona, but teams who get it wrong get smashed. It was a case of the latter here, as Iturra helped give away a penalty and got sent off after 65 minutes.


Full Player Grades


Jose Manuel PintoGKB
Martin MontoyaRBC+
Gerard PiqueCBB
Marc BartaCBB+
Sergio BusquetsDMB-
Andres IniestaCMA
Cesc FabregasCMB
Alexis SanchezWingB
Alex SongCMC+
Sergi RobertoCMC+
Adama TraoreWingN/A


Dimitri FoulquierLBC
Jeison MurilloCBC
Pape DiakhiteCBC
Manuel IturraDMD
Fran RicoCMC-
Youssef El-ArabiCFC
Yacine BrahimiLWC+
Odion IghaloFWDC
Diego BuonanotteMIDC


What's Next?

Granada host Sevilla on Sunday, December 1, while Barca tackle Athletic Club at the New San Mames.



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