Spanish media stick the boot into Barcelona after their shock home defeat by Granada ‘set LaLiga race on fire’ with the title now out of their hands with just five games to go
- Barcelona shot themselves in the foot in the title race as they lost 2-1 to Granada
- Ronald Koeman was sent to the stands as the visitors sealed a superb comeback
- The fate of LaLiga is now out of their hands with Atletico now in pole position
- Spanish papers slammed Barca as ‘unpardonable’ with the LaLiga now ‘on fire’
Barcelona were given a scathing verdict by the Spanish papers after their home collapse against Granada saw them surrender the chance to keep the LaLiga title race in their own hands.
Ronald Koeman’s men were labelled ‘unpardonable’ by Mundo Deportivo after allowing the visitors to come from behind after Lionel Messi’s opener, with Darwin Machis and Jorge Molina netting late in the second half to stun the Catalan outfit.
The Dutch boss was also sent to the stands on a disastrous night for his side and means he will be forced to watch from a far during crucial games against Valencia and title rivals Atletico – who now look in pole position to secure the league crown.
Spanish media tore into Barcelona after losing to Granada, calling them ‘unpardonable’
Barca no longer hold LaLiga in their own hands after the visitors stunned them at home
Barca coach Ronald Koeman was sent to the stand after ‘disrespecting’ the referee in charge
Mundo slammed Barca for ‘letting the leadership slip’ against a ‘depleted’ Granada side, while Marca said the unfancied side had ‘set LaLiga on fire’ after winning their first ever game at the Nou Camp.
It claimed Barca now have ‘five finals’ to come after conceding further ground in the title race, with Real Madrid and even Sevilla now given ‘a shot’ of pipping them to the trophy.
Meanwhile, Sport were particularly damning of the Spanish giants, simply saying the result was ‘without forgiveness’, and AS declared it ‘a bump in the road’ after a turbulent season under Koeman.
AS said Barcelona had suffered ‘a bump in the road’ ahead of a crucial game against Atletico
The Spanish giants are now two points behind their rivals and face ‘five finals’ to come
Sport said Barcelona were ‘without forgiveness’ after their late collapse
Messi, who had reportedly pledged his future to the club on the same day with just months remaining on his deal, cut a frustrated figure on the pitch as he was unable to inspire the team to victory despite putting them ahead in the first half.
It leaves Barca on 71 points – two behind Atletico, level on points with Real Madrid and one point ahead of Sevilla.
They will play Valencia next, before a huge game against Atletico at the top of the table. Their last three games of the season are winnable – against Levante, Celta Vigo and Eibar.
But with a pivotal period to come, they will have to face it without their boss – who was dismissed from the touchline for ‘disrespecting’ the referee, something he strongly denies.
‘I don’t understand why they sent me off,’ Koeman told Movistar. ‘They said it was for disrespecting the fourth official.
‘I’d like to know what I’m supposed to have said. He’s the one who is rude towards me. If they put something I haven’t said in the referee’s report then I’ll have to do something.’
Barcelona are now two points off league leaders Atletico Madrid with five games to play
LA LIGA TITLE RACE: THE RUN IN
Atletico Madrid: Elche (H), Barcelona (A), Sociedad (H), Osasuna (H), Real Valladolid (A)
Real Madrid: Osasuna (H), Sevilla (H), Granada (A), Athletic Bilbao (A), Villarreal (H)
Barcelona: Valencia (A), Atletico (H), Levante (A), Celta Vigo (H), Eibar (A)
Sevilla: Athletic Bilbao (H), Madrid (A), Valencia (H), Villarreal (A), Alaves (H)
The home side were poor in defence as they allowed Granada to claim their first Nou Camp win
The Dutchman admitted his players ‘lost focus’ after the interval having allowed Granada to come from behind but insisted the team were ‘still in the mix’ despite the set-back.
‘We lost our focus in the second half and made errors at the back,’ Koeman added.
‘We need to accept the fact we’ve lost, that’s the reality of things. We had chances to win the game, but that’s that. We’ve got five more games to go and each of the sides (in the title race) will have difficulties moving forwards.
‘We now need to prepare ourselves for Sunday’s game (away to Valencia). We’re still in the mix and have a chance. We need to accept this, move on and prepare for the next one.
‘We tried but weren’t able to make many chances when they scored their goals. They closed shop well and we couldn’t create.’
Koeman admitted his team ‘lost focus’ but refused to give up hope of winning the LaLiga title
Atletico Madrid look like favourites for the title should they avoid defeat to Barca, with a favourable run in to come. They play Elche at home before travelling to Barcelona, before a home clash against Sociedad and finishing the campaign against Osasuna and Real Valladolid.
Real Madrid, meanwhile, face Osasuna at home on Saturday before travelling to fellow title rivals Sevilla before three games to round things off against Granada, Athletic Bilbao and Villarreal.
Sevilla will be seen as outsiders for the title and have possibly the toughest run in, first playing Athletic Bilbao at home before a trip to Madrid, before facing Valencia, Villarreal and Alaves.
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