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Granada 2-0 Barcelona: Hosts stun champions to move top of La Liga



Granada celebrate Alvaro Vadillo’s penalty strike against Barcelona

Promoted Granada stunned champions Barcelona to move top of La Liga.

Ramon Azeez headed in at the back post with less than two minutes played.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde introduced Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati at half-time, but Alvaro Vadillo added the hosts’ second from the penalty spot after Arturo Vidal handled in the area.

The result leaves Barcelona three points behind Granada in seventh and they have now failed to score in six of their last seven La Liga away matches.

Valverde made four changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday, as a returning Messi started on the bench once more.

Summer signing Junior Firpo was handed a first start after Jordi Alba picked up an injury in midweek, but it was his defensive slip that led to Granada taking the lead after just one minute and five seconds.

The early advantage proved no fluke, as the hosts pressed on and could have added to their advantage before the interval – Manchester City loanee Yangel Herrera shooting narrowly over from outside the box.

Barcelona’s best opportunity fell to Luis Suarez in first-half stoppage time, but the Uruguay forward’s goal-bound attempt was – typically of the hosts’ defensive performance – blocked on the line.

Messi and 16-year-old superstar Fati saw plenty of the ball in the second half, but despite their best efforts, neither could achieve a breakthrough before fellow substitute Vidal’s costly error allowed Vadillo to sweep home from the penalty spot.

The visitors never looked like getting back into the contest after that, as a resilient, dogged Granada recorded a famous victory.

More to follow.


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