FC Barcelona vs Granada CF : Match report and analysis
Lionel Messi warmed up perfectly for Monday’s Ballon d’Or ceremony by netting his first hat-trick in 10 months as Barcelona cruised to a 4-0 win over Granada to return to the top position of the Primera Division.
Luis Enrique’s side now go one point ahead of Atletico Madrid at the league’s top, though the Rojiblancos can leap above them again as they face Celta Vigo on Sunday.
Alves began on the bench against Granada, with Aleix Vidal finally making his first start for the Catalans yesterday. Arda Turan kept his place in the initial line-up at the expense of Andres Iniesta following his full debut in the cup tie against Espanyol.
Granada have never won at the Nou Camp in all of their 85 year history and it soon became very clear they would have to wait at least another year more.
Messi spotted Turan’s sprint on the left of the box and threaded the ball smartly to him before dashing for the middle of the area himself, where he was picked out by the Turkey international swiftly, who slid the ball cunningly through the legs of Agbo Uche for Messi to just tap into the net.
The Argentine got his second goal right on the 14th minute mark, turning the ball in from one of the tightest of angles after Suarez knocked Neymar’s clinical cross to the far post with one touch.
Messi got his third goal then in the 57th minute. Aided by a smart dummy by Turan, Sergi Roberto threaded the ball gracefully into the path of Neymar, who went for the near post and struck the mere frame of the goal, and Messi was there to kick the ball into the empty net and take his proud tally in the league to nine goals.
Neymar got in on the act too with nine minutes remaining in the game, slamming the ball hard into the roof of the net after another splendid piece of work by Messi.