Barca Lose Liga Ground Despite Granada Comeback, Atletico Beat Sociedad

Barcelona came back from two goals down to share a thrilling 2-2 draw with Granada but lost ground in the La Liga title race on Sunday.

Bryan Zaragoza sent the hosts two goals ahead but Lamine Yamal and Sergi Roberto’s goals preserved the champions’ record as the only unbeaten team in La Liga.

However the Catalans are now third and sit three points behind leaders Real Madrid, and one behind neighbours Girona, who both won on Saturday.

Antoine Griezmann converted a late penalty to snatch fourth-place Atletico Madrid a controversial late 2-1 win over Real Sociedad before Barcelona’s draw.

Zaragoza struck twice in the first half, breaking the deadlock after only 17 seconds — the fastest goal Barcelona have conceded in the 21st century.

Yamal pulled Barcelona back into the game just before half-time, becoming La Liga’s youngest ever goalscorer in the process at 16 years and 87 days.

Xavi Hernandez’s side levelled with three minutes remaining when substitute Sergi Roberto turned home, but they could not find a late winner in a high-octane finale.

It was the third comeback they have made in recent weeks, beating Celta Vigo from two goals down and twice falling behind at Mallorca in another 2-2 draw.

“I think we totally dominated, we created chances, we deserved more, but (we drew) because of our own mistakes, we can’t start off in that way,” Xavi told DAZN.

“We take away a point, which for us, is not enough.”

Barcelona’s night was also marred by a knee injury to Jules Kounde, with the Catalans already tending to Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Raphinha in the treatment room.

After Gavi lost the ball turning into trouble Lucas Boye fed Zaragoza, who fired across Marc-Andre ter Stegen to open the scoring inside the first minute.

Zaragoza then doubled the hosts’ lead at the Nuevo Los Carmenes stadium with a brilliant individual goal, leaving Kounde wobbling before finishing sublimely with the outside of his boot into the top corner.

“Bryan is like a bullet … not easy to stop when he’s sprinting,” admitted Xavi.

– Record breaker –
Barcelona found a route back into the match in first-half stoppage time when Felix prodded the ball into Yamal’s path just a couple of yards out and he rolled home to break yet another record.

“In that moment I was thinking more about the comeback than the goal and the record, but I’m very happy,” said Yamal.

The visitors sought the equaliser and eventually it came through Sergi Roberto, who turned home Alejandro Balde’s low cross in the final stages.

Zaragoza almost claimed his hat-trick but crashed a shot off the post as the game flew end-to-end.

Felix headed in what he thought was the winner and Xavi leapt for joy on the touchline, but Ferran Torres, who did not touch the ball yet was ruled to be interfering with play, was offside.

“Just as easily as they ruled it out they could have given it… Ferran is not interfering with anyone,” said Xavi.

Granada coach Paco Lopez said he was proud of his team and that he hoped 22-year-old winger Zaragoza would keep his feet on the ground.

“I congratulate my team and my players, I can’t ask for more from them,” Lopez told DAZN.

The draw keeps Granada 19th, two points from safety.

– Handball controversies –
Atletico beat Real Sociedad in a match which was decided by two penalty appeals, after Samuel Lino sent Diego Simeone’s team ahead and Mikel Oyarzabal levelled for the Basque visitors.

The Basque side were furious after they had a penalty appeal for handball turned and then the referee awarded Atletico a spot-kick in the final stages after Carlos Fernandez inadvertently handled a Griezmann shot, and the Frenchman scored it.

Despite the decisions working in his team’s favour, Griezmann said the handball rule should be modified.

“They have to make a rule that if it hits the hand it’s a penalty, and if not there’s not, not (only) the interpretation of the referee,” Griezmann told DAZN.

“Today he interpreted it in our favour and we won, on other occasions it will be different.”

Villarreal lost 2-1 at home against Las Palmas, while Real Betis drew 1-1 against Alaves, and controversial striker Mason Greenwood scored his first goal for Getafe in a 2-2 draw at Celta Vigo.


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