Barcelona Stages Dramatic Comeback in 2-2 Thriller Against Granada, but La Liga Title Bid Slips
In a nail-biting encounter on Sunday, Barcelona clawed their way back from a two-goal deficit to secure an exhilarating 2-2 draw against Granada. However, the draw came at a price as it saw the Catalan giants lose ground in the race for the La Liga title.
Granada’s Bryan Zaragoza had the hosts in a comfortable two-goal lead, breaking the deadlock with a lightning-fast strike just 17 seconds into the game, marking the quickest goal Barcelona has conceded this century.
The champions, though, were determined to maintain their status as the only undefeated team in La Liga. Lamine Yamal, at just 16 years and 87 days, etched his name in history as La Liga’s youngest-ever goalscorer, pulling Barcelona back into the game just before halftime. The tension escalated when substitute Sergi Roberto found the net with only three minutes remaining, leveling the scoreline in a high-octane finale.
This match marked Barcelona’s third recent comeback, having previously recovered from two-goal deficits against Celta Vigo and twice in a 2-2 draw against Mallorca.
Barcelona manager Xavi Hernandez expressed his frustration, saying, “I think we totally dominated, we created chances, we deserved more, but (we drew) because of our own mistakes, we can’t start off in that way. We take away a point, which for us, is not enough.”
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Adding to Barcelona’s woes, the night saw Jules Kounde suffer a knee injury, joining a growing list of injured players that includes Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri, and Raphinha.
Xavi had to make tactical adjustments, deploying Ferran Torres as a false nine to replace Lewandowski and giving Fermin Lopez his first start in midfield. The absence of a pure defensive midfielder in the starting lineup led to Granada’s early advantage, with Ilkay Gundogan and Gavi sharing the defensive responsibilities.
Despite the intense match, Zaragoza almost secured a hat-trick for Granada, crashing a shot off the post as the game swung end-to-end.
In the dying moments, Barcelona thought they had clinched victory when Joao Felix headed in, but it was disallowed due to an offside call involving Ferran Torres, sparking controversy.
Granada’s coach, Paco Lopez, praised his team’s performance and urged caution with the talented 22-year-old winger, Zaragoza, saying, “I congratulate my team and my players, I can’t ask for more from them. We have to keep cool heads with (Zaragoza), because he’s got out-of-the-ordinary talent but has to work hard.”
The draw leaves Granada in 19th place, two points away from safety, while Barcelona finds themselves in third place, trailing leaders Real Madrid by three points and local rivals Girona by one.