Barca need late goal to salvage Granada draw


Ronald Araujo‘s late header salvaged a 1-1 draw for Barcelona against Granada at the Camp Nou on Monday night.

Ronald Koeman picked a young XI for the match, with 33-year-old Sergio Busquets the only player over 30, while Philippe Coutinho made his first start for Barca since Dec. 19, 2020.

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Granada took the lead a mere 88 seconds into the game when Domingos Duarte was picked out at the far post with a stellar cross from Sergio Escudero and he made no mistake about the finish, powering a header past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

The hosts spent most of the remainder of the first half in Granada’s end, but could find no end product despite peppering Luís Maximiano’s goal with a late flurry right before the break.

Searching for goals, Koeman made two changes, bringing on Luuk de Jong for Sergi Roberto at the start of the second half and substituting Gavi for Coutinho on the hour mark as Barca continued to trail by a goal.

De Jong had a golden chance to equalise just before 80 minutes, but he impossibly headed over the bar from point-blank range from an outswinging Memphis Depay cross.

With a loss looking likely for Koeman’s side, Gavi settled a loose ball in the area and deftly chipped it back in front of goal where Araujo rose and met the ball and redirected it past Maximiano to save a point for Barcelona.

The result sees Barcelona into seventh place in LaLiga on eight points, while Granada remain in 17th place on three points, barely above the relegation places in Spain‘s top flight.

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