La Liga: Barcelona trounce Granada 4 – 1

Neymar scored against Granada
Neymar scored against Granada
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Barcelona overcame the absence of top scorer Lionel Messi to cut Real Madrid’s La Liga lead to two points with a comfortable win at Granada.

Luis Suarez’s exquisite lob just before half-time opened the scoring before on-loan Chelsea midfielder Jeremie Boga equalised with a composed finish.

Paco Alcacer restored Barca’s lead before Uche Agbo was sent off for two yellow cards.

Ivan Rakitic’s deflected finish made it 3-1 before Neymar scored the fourth.

Barca get the job done without Messi

There was pressure on Luis Enrique’s side to deliver without the services of La Liga’s 25-goal leading scorer Messi, who was serving a one-match ban.

Real’s 3-0 win over Alaves earlier in the day meant Barca started the game five points behind the leaders.

Suarez hit the bar before opening the scoring with a fine finish after Guillermo Ochoa, who had denied the former Liverpool striker with two fine saves, came rushing off his line.

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Granada are in the relegation zone, eight points from safety, yet they were given hope of a surprise result when substitute Boga slotted beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Alcacer, another substitute, restored Barca’s lead after a lob over the defence by Suarez before Agbo, on loan from Watford, was shown a second yellow card.

Barca, who lost midfielder Rafinha to an injury early in the game, made the extra man advantage count.

Rakitic’s shot was going wide before it took a deflection and found its way into the net before Neymar rounded off a highly satisfactory night for the visitors with a tap-in.

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