Soccer

Xavi’s team won a vital point with a dramatic late equalizer in their La Liga match

Barcelona appeared to be facing a potentially disastrous evening as they fell behind to Granada in their La Liga clash on Sunday. However, with just five minutes left on the clock, Sergi Roberto delivered a crucial second goal for Xavi’s team in a dramatic fashion, rescuing a point when it seemed they might face defeat at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes.

In Sunday’s match, Lamine Yamal made history by becoming the youngest La Liga goalscorer ever as Barcelona played to a 2-2 draw against Granada. Granada took an early lead just 17 seconds into the game.

Xavi’s squad needed a late equalizer, which came five minutes before the final whistle when they converted Alejandro Balde’s close-range cross, completing a two-goal comeback.

The shocking opening goal occurred when Gavi lost possession in midfield, allowing Lucas Boye to release Bryan Zaragoza. Ter Stegen got both hands on the ball but couldn’t prevent the shot from finding the back of the net.

Bryan then extended Granada’s lead, outpacing Jules Kounde before calmly slotting the ball home.

Barcelona’s 16-year-old winger Yamal made history by scoring from close range, capitalizing on Joao Felix’s wayward attempt at goal to become the youngest goalscorer in the history of the Spanish top-flight. Sergi Roberto sealed the comeback.

In injury time, Joao Felix found the back of the net from Joao Cancelo’s cross, but Ferran Torres was ruled offside and interfering with play.

The draw leaves Barcelona in third place, three points behind leaders Real Madrid.

Discussion Point – Barcelona Must Improve Quickly

Given Real Madrid’s dominant performances against most opponents, Barcelona must eliminate the habit of making things difficult for themselves if they want to remain contenders for the title by Christmas. They found themselves trailing Celta Vigo by two goals but managed to stage a comeback for the win. Similarly, they were 3-1 down against Villarreal before rallying for a victory, and today, they once again had to come from behind to secure a 2-2 draw against Mallorca. In this instance, Xavi will only need to show a 17-second video clip to reinforce a message to the players.

Right from the opening kick-off, they appeared collectively sluggish, conceding possession to the opposition, allowing an opponent to easily get behind their defense, and ultimately conceding a rather tame shot into the net. While they may argue that debatable decisions cost them the match tonight, consistently falling behind, particularly in away games, is not a sustainable pattern for championship-winning teams. It’s possible that with players like Raphinia and/or Robert Lewandowski, they could have secured a victory in this match, but they must address this tendency to concede early goals.

Man of the Match – Bryan Zaragoza (Granada)

Today marks a significant milestone for the youngest goalscorer in history, but it might also unofficially signal Bryan’s potential move to a top club in La Liga or elsewhere. It’s hard not to be dazzled by the young forward’s incredible speed, exquisite ball control, and seemingly innate self-assurance. He possesses the qualities to fit into a front three or play as one of the three forwards behind a striker. His second goal showcased a level of composure that can be considered world-class, and he came agonizingly close to netting the winning goal with just two minutes left on the clock.

PLAYER RATINGS

Granada: Andre Ferreira 7; Ricard 6, Rubio 6, Ignasi Miquel 6, Neva 5; Villar 6, Gumbau 7, Carreras 6; Bryan Zaragoza 9*, Uzuni 6; Lucas Boye 8.

Subs: Puertas 5, Torrente 6, Vallejo 5, Callejon 6, Petrovic 6.

Barcelona: Ter Stegen 5; Cancelo 6, Kounde 5, Christensen 6, Balde 7; Fermin Lopez 6, Gundogan 6, Gavi 6; Lamine Yamal 6, Ferran Torres 6, Joao Felix 7.

Subs: Araujo 7, Romeu 6, Sergi Roberto 7.

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