|Rafinha celebrates goal against Granada|
FC Barcelona didn’t quite play well, but got the all important three points as they picked up a slim 1-0 win against Granada at the Camp Nou to continue their chase on Real Madrid at the top of the table.
Luis Enrique decided to rest the out-of-form Sergio Busquets, playing Ivan Rakitic as a defensive midfielder with Rafinha and Denis Suarez starting ahead of André Gomes in central midfield.
Luis Suárez showcased his European Golden Shoe to the fans but didn’t do what he should’ve done to win another as he missed a lot of chances. Messi had an early shot blocked as Barça looked good in the first couple of minutes. The Catalans then relented, although getting a lot of possession, they couldn’t create any clear chance.
Neymar had a chance on the 19th minute but his failed curler went wide off goal while Rakitic couldn’t keep his header on target after a good Messi cross. Luis Suárez also had a great chance to score but his poor first touch allowed Ochoa to smother the ball.
The Uruguayan came close 10 minutes from time with a great low strike from outside the box but Ochoa pulled off a perfect save to keep the score at 0-0. It ended that way after the first 45 minutes.
Barça resumed after the break and started piling up the pressure from the restart, they got their reward three minutes later after Rafinha scored to make it 1-0. A good link-up by Messi and Suárez created space for Rafinha who found Neymar, but Ney’s shot from six yards hit the post before falling in the path of Rafinha who pulled off a great bicycle kick to give Barça the lead.
Barça kept on dominating possession but Granada seemed too hard to crack. Suárez came close again but could only fire his free header straight at Ochoa. He was replaced by Alcácer with 7 minutes left and the former Valencia man did well to set up Messi with a great pass but the Argentine fired over the bar.
It was a disappointing result, an unconvincing one.. but Barça got all three points and are currently second on the table, two points behind leaders Real Madrid.