Injuries to Victor Valdez, Gerard Pique, Marc Batra and Carles Puyol left Barca with a rather makeshift backline that evening. Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets were the heart of defence with Martin Montoya given a start at right back. Pedro and Neymar covered the flanks while Xavi was given rest which allowed Cesc Fabregas a place in midfield. Leo Messi, of course, played up top. Not the best Barcelona line up but it could've been enough to defeat a team with only 11 wins this season.
Barcelona just couldn't find the right finishes to win the game. Granada were all over the Spanish giants. Barcelona had several attempts but with Karnezis in splendid form they just couldn't find the back of the net.
An amazing through ball was played by Fran Rico to Yacine Brahimi who took a slight touch on the right to avoid the interception by Barcelona's right back Montoya. A simple shot went in the back of the net which, in all honesty, made Pinto look like a fumbling fool.
The fans were praising Rico by pointing at their eye to show the power of his vision which was noted by the through ball.
Messi and Neymar had several attempts but either it was an exceptional save or just yards off target. Barcelona peppered Granada's area with crosses and shots but went no closer than Neymar's long range effort in the 30th minute that Karnezis pushed wide, while Messi tried in vain to dribble past the defenders.
Neymar was a standout performer in the first 45 minutes while Messi again looked subdued and somewhat ineffective. Subject to some rough treatment from the opposing defence, Neymar seemed to be Barca's only player who truly invested in the game.
Karzenis stabbed Fabregas's volley around his post in the 54th minute and then outstretched his palm to keep out Messi's spectacular free kick. What a game this lad had.
Youssef Arabi almost grabbed the second goal in the closing minutes of the game but Pinto outshone as he took on Arabi, one-on-one.
The in form Karzenis produced a string of exceptional stops throughout the game. All the while, the clock kept on ticking. Hopes began to fade and before Barcelona knew it, the final minutes were upon them. Alexis Sànchez had been brought on in place of Busquets and Barca went all out for the equalizer. Alas, it wasn't good enough.
Surely, the La Liga is over for Barcelona now?
-Daniel Fernandez, Guest Writer.