Futbol Club Barcelona began Quique Setien’s reign as manager with an impressive 1 – 0 home win against Granada to remain top of the Spanish League table.
The match started at a frantic pace as Ansu Fati went close for Barcelona twice in the space of 15 minutes, forcing a save from the goalie and shooting over the bar. It was all about Barcelona in the first half as they demonstrated their dominance completely shutting Granada out.
Messi went close towards the end of the half as he was set up by Jordi Alba but his shot hit the side netting.
The second half started the same way as the Blaugrana kept on dominating on all fronts especially Busquets that put on a midfield master class. Barcelona were finding it difficult to penetrate the resilient Granada back line and the Barca fans had their hearts in their mouths when Eteki’s long range effort hit the right hand base of Ter Stegen’s post before going across goal.
Granada were reduced to 10 men when German Sanchez carelessly tackled Leo Messi and got his second yellow and subsequently his marching orders.
Ruqui Puig was brought on in the 71st minute to replace Rakitic and made his presence felt 5 minutes later when he hassled the ball off a Granada defender and started a passing move that ended with Vidal setting Messi up with a back heel pass that saw him finish sweetly into the bottom right hand corner of the goal with his weaker foot taking his tally to 14 goals in the league.
Griezmann went close to doubling the lead but could only manage to find the side netting. Carles Perez and Arthur Melo were introduced later in the game for Ansu Fati and Vidal as Barcelona saw a stubborn Granada side off to go back to the top of La Liga standings.