Barca’s resilience at Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes
Let’s talk about the cracker at Nuevo Estadio de Los Carmenes on Wednesday night that saw Granada lose a two-goal lead in the dying minutes of the game and end up being eliminated from the quarter-finals of the 2020/21 Copa Del Rey by Barcelona.
It was arguably one of the craziest games of the season and it seemed crazy when Samuel Umtiti was caught napping and caressing the ball just outside the 18-yard box.
The France international was dispossessed after a poor clearance and this resulted in the first goal of the night for the home side by Kenedy.
The current season has seen the Blaugrana go through many ups and downs and this seemed like one of those downs, and possibly a farewell to silverware when Roberto Soldado doubled the lead for the home side.
However, the Catalans were not ready to go down without a fight and the numerous woodwork hittings did little to stop them. They could easily have given up when Ousmane Dembele’s shot crashed against the bar in the 86th minute but they were having none of it.
Meanwhile, let’s talk about Antoine Greizmann who has been decent under Dutch manager Ronald Koeman. Barcelona are finally getting their money’s worth from his performances and this was the case when he began the comeback by pulling one back in the 87th minute.
The comeback was on! The Catalans could smell blood and they would have it with Lionel Messi parading himself as an invisible orchestrator. Griezmann was yet again on point to assist Jordi Aba in the 91st minute for the much-needed equalizer.
The game of football is a strange one. When it was 2:1, Messi hit the bar in the 89th minute and I’m sure that everyone thought it was over at that point.
Barcelona had been huffing and puffing throughout the game but got back level from a two-goal deficit in less than 5 minutes, and more so in the closing stages of the game.
The Catalans went on to win 5:3 and progress to the next stage of the competition and the performance should doubtless boost their morale as they chase a very determined Atletico Madrid side for the La Liga title.
The game is proof that despite Atletico’s mad form, they must not believe it’s yet over in the race for the La Liga title.
Meanwhile, Barcelona, on the other hand, should be motivated by the result and go on to fly in subsequent games. We can only hope that they keep it up.