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Unsung Hero Rescues Misfiring Barca, Pique Used A Striker!

Barcelona's shaky start to the LaLiga season continued after netting late to secure a point at home against Granada on Monday night.


Result: FC Barcelona 1-1 Granada

Date: 20 September 2021

Venue: Camp Nou

Philippe Coutinho was given his first start since December 2020 in an attack that featured Memphis Depay and Yusuf while Gerard Pique was only named on the bench.

The Camp Nou was stunned into silence inside two minutes when Domingos Duarte got on the end of Escudero's to head past Marc-Andre ter Stegen after the hosts failed to clear their lines.

Ronald Koeman's charges dominated possession thereafter but struggled to carve out any clear-cut chances in the opening 20 minutes of the first stanza.

Granada were forced into a first-half re-shuffle as Yan Eteki was stretchered off after picking up a knock and was replaced by Montoro, while the Barca had to withdraw Alex Balde for Oscar Mingueza just before the break.

The Balde injury summed up the first half for the Catalans, who barely managed to trouble Granada shot-stopper Luís Maximiano while the visitors were unable to carve out another chance of their own.

Barcelona began carving out chances in the second half, with Memphis Depay volleying over the crossbar from close range after some good work by substitute Luuk de Jong.

Koeman had seen enough Coutinho with 25 minutes to go and introduced 17-year-old Gavi before Granada threw on Luis Suarez and Maxime Gonalons as they looked to shut up shop.

The hosts' best chances from crosses and set-pieces, with Ronald Araujo heading over the crossbar on 78 minutes before Pique saw his downward header saved by Maximiano.

Araujo got his reward on 89 minutes after nodding home a cross from Gavi to rescue a point for the Catalan giants, who sit in seventh spot with a game in hand.

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