Sports

Barça lose more ground in LaLiga after draw against Granada

Sports Desk, Feb 12 (EFE).- Barcelona went 10 points behind leaders Real Madrid in their title defense in the Spanish LaLiga after they were held to a 3-3 draw by relegation-threatened Granada at home on Sunday.

Lamine Yamal scored two goals, and Robert Lewandowski was also on the score sheet, but they could not prevent Barca’s slip, though the order of the league remained unchanged after Real’s 4-0 thrashing of Girona on Saturday and Atletico Madrid’s 0-1 loss to Sevilla.

Barça had the chance to close their gap with others against a side that had won only two games all season and were boosted by the return of goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, defender Inigo Martinez, and winger Raphinha from injury.

Yamal pounced on Joao Cancelo’s cross to volley home at the far post in just 14 minutes to earn Barça the lead.

Granada defender Martin Hongla soon cleared Lewandowski’s shot off the line to deny them a further advantage.

Full-back Ricard Sánchez reduced the margin for Granada with an unstoppable shot into the top right corner of Ter Stegen’s net before the visitors’ newly acquired loanee Facundo Pellistri put his side in the lead to stun the 42,000 home crowd.

Barça reacted quickly though as Lewandowski equalized from an Ilkay Gundoğan pass three minutes later.

It took Granada only a few minutes to restore their lead.

Just when Barça were preparing to push the final punch for the winner, they conceded again as Ter Stegen parried Ignasi Miquel’s header into his own net on 66 minutes.

Yamal had a goal disallowed for off-side, but he did not lose his heart and leveled the game with a fabulous strike from outside the box 10 minutes from time.

But unfortunately, not even his magic or eight minutes of injury time were enough to produce a late winner, keeping Barça far away from Real Madrid, who are leading the table with 61 points.

“Going forward we created a lot but bad errors at the back mean we are behind Madrid and Girona. A point is not enough,” lamented Barça boss Xavi.

“The players are angry, like the fans. It’s an opportunity lost and we were not up to the job, it’s a step backwards.”

Barça, with 51 points, remained three points clear of Atletico, who could not respond to Isaac Romero’s early goal and lost to crisis-ridden Sevilla on the same evening. EFE

am/pd

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