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Messi Hands New Barca Coach Winning Start

LaLiga

Result: Barcelona 1-0 Granada

Date: 19 January 2020

Venue: Camp Nou

Lionel Messi got the first goal of the Quique Setien era as FC Barcelona reclaimed top spot in LaLiga with victory over Granada on Sunday night.

Barca made four changes as goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen returned,  Samuel Umtiti was preferred over Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong's suspension gave way for Arturo Vidal to start and Anssumane Fati started in attack.

Blaugrana had a chance to grab an early lead in the seventh minute after Fati went clear on the right side of the box and unleashed a low strike that was saved by Granada goalkeeper Rui Silva at the near post.

The hosts had another opportunity to break the deadlock in the 21st minute after Jordi Alba delivered a teasing ball across the face of goal but Fati was a second late to the ball, with a lot space from on the far post.

Frustration began to grow for the home side as Alba picked out Messi in the centre of the box with a cut-back, but the Argentine's first time strike sailed just wide of the upright.

After a quiet opening to the second stanza, Granada almost found the breakthrough against the run of play in the 67th minute after Yan Eteki rattled the upright with a stinging low drive from distance.

EL Grana suffered a set back two minutes later, as they were redcued to ten men after German Sanchez received his marching orders after picking up his second yellow card.

Barca finally broke the deadlock 14 minutes before time courtesy of Messi, who sent a neat finish into bottom corner after being played in by Vidal's neat flick

Antoine Griezmann had a good chance to seal the three points with the second goal for Blaugrana seven minutes before time after going through at the near post but he fired his strike to the side-netting from close range, as the encounter finished 1-0.

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