Barcelona traveled to Granada in a must-win game in their chase for the Spanish league title. Here is how La Blaugrana fared, both in the first half and at full time.
|Player||Halftime Rating||Full-time Rating|
Pinto: A couple excellent last-ditch stops, but couldn't prevent Granada's goal.
Montoya: Provided good support down the right side but allowed too much in defense.
Mascherano: His lack of pace was exposed on a couple occasions but he generally held firm.
Adriano: See Montoya.
Busquets: Ventured into midfield a bit too much and left Mascherano to do most of the defensive dirty work.
Song: Played Busquets' typical role well but allowed Granada too much space on their goalscoring counterattack.
Iniesta: Productive and a constant threat, as usual. A very effective attacking outlet.
Fabregas: Same as Iniesta, but got involved more in the box and had a role in most of Barca's more productive attacks.
Pedro: Supplied some good crosses and seemed likely to at least get an assist.
Neymar: Barcelona's best threat. Almost scored with a scintillating shot from the left wing.
Messi: Largely bottled up by a ferocious press but did well to distribute the ball with the limited space he had.
Pinto: Rarely called into action but dealt as well as he could with a late one-on-one.
Montoya: Was not present when Barcelona needed him to support the attack. Dani Alves' presence was clearly missed.
Mascherano: Forced to commit a foul as a player ran past him and looked shaky at times at the back. Not a performance that inspires confidence.
Adriano: Substituted relatively early on for Alba after feeling some discomfort. Did not contribute all that much.
Busquets: Does not seem like a center back because he is not one. Distributed the ball well (obviously) but not fast enough or strong enough in the tackle.
Song: Should have imposed himself on the game more, especially when Barca needed all the support they could get in the second half. Instead, he was largely anonymous and was moved to center back toward the end of the match.
Iniesta: Barcelona's most effective midfielder. Almost scored on a couple occasions, but nearly missed every time. Perhaps on another day he would have been rewarded for his efforts.
Fabregas: Also very threatening when linking up with Neymar and others in and around the penalty box. But one would like to have seen the Spaniard take more initiative.
Pedro: Largely anonymous for large stretches but did look lively when the ball found him.
Neymar: Definitely Barcelona's best player on the day. Perhaps tried to do a little too much by himself but was consistently a very live wire.
Messi: Had a couple decent chances here and there but was denied by a Granada defense that tenaciously denied him time and space on the ball.
Alba: Did not have much influence on the game from the left flank after being brought on in the second half; mostly played a supporting role.
Sanchez: Contributed to a few attacking moves with promising link-up play and good movement but did not quite have the impact that Gerardo Martino desired.