Spanish La Liga
Granada2Barcelona0

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

Granada celebrate scoring against Barcelona
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 condemns Barcelona to their worst league start for 25 years and leaves them in seventh, three points behind surprise leaders Granada.

Earlier, Atletico Madrid missed the chance to go top as they were held to a goalless draw against Celta Vigo.

Valverde made four changes to the side that unconvincingly 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.

Barca's worst start in 25 years

La Liga table
Granada finished second in the Segunda last season to secure their La Liga return

Champions Barcelona's stuttering start continued on Saturday, with their return of seven points so far their worst since 1994-95 under Johan Cruyff.

They have been league winners in Spain in four of the last five seasons, but have now lost two of their opening five games despite losing just three in the whole of last season.

It has been on the road, in particular, where Valverde's side have struggled, with this the first time since that 94-95 season they have failed to win any of their first three away games. Their winless away run in the league now stretches back to April.

An uncharacteristic bluntness in attack was apparent in defeat to Granada, with the visitors failing to register a shot on target in the first half and landing just one of their eight shots - from Messi in 82nd minute - on target in all.

They have now failed to score in six of their last seven La Liga away matches, while 120m euro (£107m) summer signing Antoine Griezmann is yet to have a shot on target after four away matches for Barcelona.

Of course, they are not the only La Liga heavyweights struggling, with bitter rivals Real Madrid facing a crucial match against Sevilla on Sunday and the pressure heavy on Zinedine Zidane's shoulders to produce a result following a crushing 3-0 defeat to Paris St-Germain in the Champions League on Wednesday.

Zidane's win ratio is currently below 50% since returning to Real at the end of last season, leaving his position in potential danger.

With Spain's big two sides struggling, could there be a surprise winner in La Liga this season? Granada fans will be beginning to dream.

Line-ups

Granada

  • 1Dantas da Silva
  • 16Díaz
  • 22Coutinho Meneses Duarte
  • 6Sánchez
  • 15Neva
  • 21HerreraBooked at 49minsSubstituted forGonalonsat 83'minutes
  • 19Montoro
  • 10Rodríguez Díaz
  • 12Azeez
  • 23MachísSubstituted forVadilloat 62'minutes
  • 9SoldadoBooked at 48minsSubstituted forFernándezat 58'minutesBooked at 87mins

Substitutes

  • 4Gonalons
  • 5Martínez
  • 7Vadillo
  • 11Köybasi
  • 13Escandell
  • 20Ramos
  • 24Fernández

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 2Nélson Semedo
  • 3PiquéBooked at 45mins
  • 15Lenglet
  • 24FirpoSubstituted forFatiat 45'minutes
  • 20Roberto
  • 21de Jong
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forVidalat 62'minutes
  • 27PérezSubstituted forMessiat 45'minutes
  • 9SuárezBooked at 21mins
  • 17Griezmann

Substitutes

  • 5Busquets
  • 6Todibo
  • 8Arthur
  • 10Messi
  • 13Murara Neto
  • 22Vidal
  • 31Fati
Referee:
Guillermo Cuadra Fernández
Attendance:
18,889

Match Stats

Home TeamGranadaAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home26%
Away74%
Shots
Home9
Away8
Shots on Target
Home4
Away1
Corners
Home4
Away5
Fouls
Home22
Away12

Live Text

Match ends, Granada CF 2, Barcelona 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Granada CF 2, Barcelona 0.

Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Maxime Gonalons (Granada CF).

Attempt missed. Álvaro Vadillo (Granada CF) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right from a direct free kick.

Foul by Clément Lenglet (Barcelona).

Álvaro Vadillo (Granada CF) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Offside, Barcelona. Arturo Vidal tries a through ball, but Luis Suárez is caught offside.

Booking

Carlos Fernández (Granada CF) is shown the yellow card.

Gerard Piqué (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Carlos Fernández (Granada CF).

Foul by Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona).

Álvaro Vadillo (Granada CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Hand ball by Nélson Semedo (Barcelona).

Substitution

Substitution, Granada CF. Maxime Gonalons replaces Yangel Herrera.

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Anssumane Fati.

Attempt blocked. Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Attempt saved. Antonio Puertas (Granada CF) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal.

Foul by Luis Suárez (Barcelona).

Ángel Montoro (Granada CF) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Antonio Puertas.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Yangel Herrera.

Attempt blocked. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Corner, Granada CF. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

Attempt missed. Clément Lenglet (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Frenkie de Jong.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Víctor Díaz.

Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Domingos Duarte (Granada CF).

Goal!

Goal! Granada CF 2, Barcelona 0. Álvaro Vadillo (Granada CF) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the bottom left corner.

VAR Decision: Penalty Granada CF.

Penalty conceded by Arturo Vidal (Barcelona) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Foul by Nélson Semedo (Barcelona).

Carlos Fernández (Granada CF) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Arturo Vidal replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Substitution

Substitution, Granada CF. Álvaro Vadillo replaces Darwin Machís.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ramón Azeez (Granada CF).

Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ángel Montoro (Granada CF).

Frenkie de Jong (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 21st September 2019

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Granada5311115610
2Sevilla431051410
3Atl Madrid531154110
4Villarreal522112848
5Real Madrid42209638
6Ath Bilbao42204138
7Barcelona521212937
8Levante52126517
9Osasuna51404317
10Real Sociedad42114317
11Alavés41212205
12Real Betis512269-35
13Real Valladolid512247-35
14Celta Vigo512236-35
15Valencia411257-24
16Mallorca411224-24
17Espanyol411226-44
18Getafe403134-13
19Eibar502347-32
20Leganés400417-60
View full Spanish La Liga table

Top Stories