Luis Suarez looks lost in 4/10 showing as Barca's road woes continue in loss at Granada
Barcelona's terrible away form continued as they were condemned to a shock defeat by Granada on Saturday, going down 2-0 at the Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes. Ramon Azeez opened the scoring inside two minutes for Granada and Alvaro Vadillo added the second after the break as the newly promoted side moved top of La Liga -- at least until Sevilla play Real Madrid on Sunday.
If you're really pushing it, Frenkie de Jong looked OK and Lionel Messi came through another 45 minutes. The Argentine forward, just back from a calf injury, came on at half-time with Barca trailing by a goal.
Barcelona have done well at home this season but they've been unrecognisable on the road. Defeat in the opening game of the season at Athletic Bilbao was followed by draws at Osasuna and Borussia Dortmund. Now they have a defeat in Granada to add to an unwanted collection.
They've also failed to keep a clean sheet in La Liga this season, conceding nine goals in five games.
But the worst thing about this loss was how poor they were. They never looked like worrying the home side, with their first shot on target not arriving until the final 10 minutes via Messi. Luis Suarez looked lost, Sergi Roberto out of place and there seemed to be a lack of understanding between the players -- not something you often say about Barca sides. As Suarez told Movistar after the game, this was a worrying defeat.
Manager rating out of 10
3 -- Ernesto Valverde seems to be committed to certain players when perhaps he should be looking at other options. His changes, as obvious as they perhaps were, wreaked of desperation.
Player ratings (1-10; 10=best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Marc-Andre ter Stegen, 6 -- Could do little about either of the two goals but did make an uncharacteristic error in the second half, fumbling a cross. Luckily he managed to gather the ball before it crossed the line.
DF Nelson Semedo, 5 -- Should have tracked Azeez to the far post for the opening goal but was no worse than the majority of his teammates. Once again forced to play at right- and left-back.
DF Gerard Pique, 5 -- Didn't do a lot wrong individually but Barca are not defending well as a collective at the moment.
DF Clement Lenglet, 5 -- Looked a little short of confidence, hesitating when the ball was in the air and not taking control like he does when at his best.
DF Junior Firpo, 4 -- Made a disastrous start on his full debut for the club, losing possession inside two minutes and gifting Granada a goal. Didn't let that affect him too much but the damage was already done and he was hooked at the break.
MF Frenkie de Jong, 6 -- Played at the base of Barca's midfield and at times seemed to be the only player running. Drove with the ball, held it well, but too often lacked options around him.
MF Sergi Roberto, 4 -- Played the first half in midfield and the second half at right-back as Valverde shuffled his deck. Despite his origins as a midfielder and his preference to play through the middle, he looks much more suited to a full-back role at Barca.
MF Ivan Rakitic, 5 -- The Croatian made his first start of the season but struggled to impose himself on the game. Taken off after an hour.
FW Carles Perez, 5 -- Substituted at half-time but more because of his name, you'd imagine, than his performance. Was no worse than anyone else in the first 45 minutes, even if he was unable to deliver in the final third.
FW Luis Suarez, 4 -- Maybe it's because it's still early in the season. Maybe it's because he's just recovered from a calf injury. But, for the second game running, Suarez was really bad.
FW Antoine Griezmann, 5 -- Being played in unnatural positions (in the first half pegged to the left flank and in the second half on the right) but didn't do nearly enough when he was on the ball. He did work hard off the ball again.
FW Lionel Messi, 6 -- Had Barcelona's only shot but, still not fully fit, was unable to save his side off the bench.
FW Ansu Fati, 6 -- The 16-year-old did more than most, setting up Messi's chance and causing a few problems down the right with his pace and directness.
MF Arturo Vidal, 4 -- Within minutes of coming on he had handled the ball and conceded a penalty.