FC Barcelona struggled for the majority of the La Liga game against Granada but in the end, emerged out as a clear winner by 4-1. Luis Suarez’s Opener and Neymar’s 100th goal for Barcelona in extra time, came as a breath of fresh air for Luis Enrique as his team already had an average defense and Lionel Messi’s absence could have made matters worse for the Catalans.
However, despite their struggles, which were more than evident on Sunday, we witnessed some great performers from Barcelona who stepped up to inspire a vital victory for the Blaugrana. Luis Suarez opened the scoresheet in the 44th minute but an equalizer came from substitute Jeremie Boga within 5 minutes into halftime, giving Barca a scare of a lifetime.
Paco Alcacer, who has a dismal stint with the Catalans since his £30 million move, made the most of his appearance after Rafinha’s potentially season-ending injury and once again gave the lead to Enrique in the 64th minute. Barca immediately took advantage, Ivan Rakitic (83’) seizing on a loose ball after Suarez’s run getting blocked in the box, and sent a low shot into the bottom corner through a deflection off the defender, Saunier, which was credited as an own goal.
While the tally of 3-1 was enough for Camp Nou to poke Real Madrid’s standing, Neymar’s extra-time strike added to the horror of all those who were expecting a downfall of a Messi-less Barcelona, and showed what the club is capable of in the absence of its talisman. This was Neymar’s 100th goal for Barcelona and while they have been a completely different team without Messi this season, both him and Suarez, just about came up good to help them dominate the race to the La Liga Title.
Neymar has scored 100 goals for Barcelona across all competitions.
70 with his right ⚽
24 with his left ⚽
6 with his head ⚽
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 2, 2017
Watch: Granada vs Barcelona 1-4 All Goals
However, there were times of struggles for the Luis Enrique side on Sunday and their dependence on Messi, is the worst in last decade, considering the average defense, and Barcelona should make Messi’s contract extension their top priority because they don’t seem ready for life without the 5-time Ballon d’Or winner.