Sunday, March 18, 2018

Granada 0-3 Barcelona: Five things we learned as Barcelona retain La Liga title

Milos Markovic in Editorial, La Liga 14 May 2016

Luis Suarez's hat-trick a fitting end to La Liga season / Image via

Luis Suarez’s hat-trick a fitting end to La Liga season / Image via

Barcelona have retained the La Liga title having pipped bitter rivals Real Madrid to the trophy in the last round of the Spanish championship.

Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick for a comprehensive 3-0 triumph to ensure his team won the league by one point from Los Blancos, who managed to beat Deportivo La Coruna 2-0.

As Luis Enrique and his men celebrate the success, here are the five things we learned from Barcelona’s title clincher at Estadio Nuevo Los Carmenes:

Routine win at Granada

Despite somewhat silent opening to the Saturday’s game at Granada, Barcelona’s win was never put in doubt. Luis Enrique’s men controlled the proceedings from the off and were completely dominant throughout the match.

La Liga’s thrilling finish did not trouble Catalans who put in a comfortable performance and retained the trophy thanks to a hat-trick from Luis Suarez.

It took just 22 minute for Barca to open the scorings. Jordi Alba latched on a wonderful lofted pass behind the defence giving Suarez an easy tap-in in the box. The Uruguayan striker added his second in the game after the interval, when Dani Alves raced down to prevent the ball going out and to send it into the centre of the box where Suarez nodded it home just in front of Granada goalkeeper.

Luis Suarez rounded off the impeccable performance with his third goal in the closing stages of the match when Neymar unselfishly sent the ball to Suarez despite being one-on-one with the keeper for Uruguay international to complete his three of a kind.

March slump just a minor glitch

It was a finish of mixed emotions for the Catalans, who went through a lot during the campaign.

Up until March and the international break, Barcelona were 11 points in the clear, but their incomprehensible slump in form has seen them tremble until the very end.

Ultimately, the Catalans were able to put on their scoring boots just in time to prove that March slump was just a minor glitch and that is could be attributed to the fact that the MSN trio had travelled thousands of miles to connect with their national teams and to get back to Spain again.

Messi, Neymar and Suarez did struggle to find their form and many would argue that they were simply too tired and exhausted.

Iniesta still indispensable

The final match of the season has once again proved that Andres Iniesta is indispensable to the Catalan club.

Spanish midfielder celebrated his 32nd birthday on Wednesday and La Liga title is the best present he could have wished for. The experienced playmaker has been under scrutiny this entire campaign as his playing time was fairly limited and plenty of fans questioned his worth and value to the club.

Saturday’s game at Granada was another proof of his immense importance, though. Andres Iniesta has misplaced just three paces against Granada and has been the central bolt in the Barcelona machine, proving he still has got a lot to offer.

Iniesta has reached a huge milestone at Granada as well, as he has now equalled Xavi’s record of eight La Liga titles. We are sure we will go out to pass the tally.

Barcelona need to buy a defender

Luis Enrique has a well-oiled machinery at his disposal, a tightly packed unit at all areas, with the exception of defence line.

Barcelona boast the second-best defensive record this season as they have conceded only 29 goals, eleven more than Atletico Madrid as the top-defending side.

However, Luis Enrique has been faced with limited options at the back with Javier Mascherano being forced to perform a role of centre back for much of the season. Thomas Vermaelen is still struggling with injury, while Jeremy Mathieu has also been out for a couple of weeks recently as Luis Enrique only had Gerrard Pique as his most reliable defender this season.

Catalans will have to find a long-term solution during summer and plenty of names have already been mooted in the public.

Luis Suarez’s season

Barcelona striker has had a brilliant campaign.

Uruguay international has scored the total of 40 goals, becoming the first player other than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo to finish as La Liga top scorer since 2008-09 season. El Pistolero has been impressive and there was no better way to finish the season than with a hat-trick which is definitely a fitting end to the campaign behind us.

What is more, Suarez scored 58 goals in 54 appearances across all competitions for Barcelona this season and has definitely been the most outstanding member of the MSN triumvirate.

Ballon d’Or nominee will be bidding for the coveted trophy once again and this time no one would be able to claim he does not deserve to claim it.

GRANADA: Fernandez 6 – Lopes 6, Babin 6, Costa 6 (Doria 6), Lomban 6.5 – Doucure 6.5, Perez 6 – Rochina 6 (Cuenca 6.5), Rico 7, Penaranda 6.5 – El Arabi 6 (Barral 6)

Unused subs: Biraghi, Fernandez, Krhin, Marquez

BARCELONA: ter Stegen 6 – Alves 7, Pique 6.5, Macherano 6 (Mathieu 6), Alba 6.5 – Rakitic 6.5 (Turan 6), Busquets 6.5 (Roberto 6), Iniesta 8 – Messi 7, Suarez 8.5, Neymar 7.5

Unused subs: Rafinha, El Haddadi, Masip, Vidal

REFEREE: Alejandro Hernandez


Milos Markovic

Formerly a Chief Editor at the largest sports site in Serbia, Milos Markovic is an avid football writer who contributes to a variety of online football magazines - most prominently and His feature articles, editorials, interviews and match analyses have provided informed opinion and views, helping the football aficionados keep up to date on relevant events in world football.



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