Barcelona squander golden chance to seize the top spot, Koeman sees red card

Barcelona missed the golden opportunity to go ahead of La Liga leader Atletico Madrid to the top of the points table. They suffered a 2-1 defeat to Granada at the Nou Camp. Ronald Koeman got a red card for allegedly showing disrespect to the fourth match official.

Ronald Koeman-Barcelona

Barca succumbed to a 2-1 defeat at the Nou Camp as the title race is now blown wide open.

Barcelona missed the golden opportunity to go ahead of La Liga leader Atletico Madrid to the top of the points table, as they suffered a 2-1 defeat to Granada at the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi’s first-half goal kept the hosts on the front foot, but they suffered a turn around after the break as Granada hit back two. Here are the reasons for Barca’s defeat.

Defensive lapses proved costly 

The first goal of Granada resulted from Samuel Umtiti following his man along to the centre – poor man-marking – and Oscar Mingueza also failed to handle the pass played into the path of eventual goal scorer Machis.

More frightful defending followed as Granada doubled the lead at ease. 

Sergi Roberto allowed Adrian Martin to deliver a cross into the box, and Gerard Pique hardly jumped before the ball reached Jorge Molina. The latter had no problems beating goalkeeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen.

Ronald Koeman’s untimely red card.

Ronald Koeman’s red card came as a surprise after the referee deemed that the Dutchman had dissented the fourth official. Later, Koeman denied such allegations, and his dismissal came when Catalans lacked in morale.

Poor substitution

Koeman had no reason to take Sergio Busquets – Barca’s best player on the pitch – off the field; however, he eventually did so.

But the Dutch manager persisted with Roberto and Umtiti, who came in as a part of the rotation and hardly created an impact.

With Atletico Madrid (73) topping the table, Real(71)and Barca(71) follow them at second and third places, respectively. With five match-day remaining, the title is up for the grab, and even Sevilla is not far from the summit.