Barcelona save a point against the minnows Granada thanks to Ronald Araujo’s 90th-minute equalizer at Camp Nou as Ronald Koeman’s side continue to struggle after being beaten by Bayern Munich
Barcelona stumbled in a 1-1 draw at home against modest Granada and had to wait until the 90th minute for the equalizer.
Ronald Koeman was urged this summer not to lose touch with the club’s signature style of football, but they ended that game by throwing crosses in the area and with Gerard Pique as auxiliary number nine alongside Luuk de Jong.
It was not pretty and the point will do nothing to lift the gloom around the club.
Ronald Araujo celebrates after scoring Barcelona equalizer against Granada on Monday
Araujo (left) rose high for the game to lead as the LaLiga showdown entered added time
The defender turned Gavi’s cross into the corner to save a point for the home team
Koeman has fielded a young side with Sergio Busquets, the only player over 30 in the starting lineup.
The young team were behind after just two minutes when Domingos Duarte found space at the far post and passed Marc Andre ter Stegen.
Barcelona worked without reward in the first half. Philippe Coutinho was starting his first game since last December, but he failed to trigger the home side whose best chances fell on Sergio Roberto and Araujo.
The midfielder hit the frame of the goal and Araujo propelled a header towards the goal, but Luis Maximiano made the stoppage of the game to deny it.
Domingo Duarte returns home to the far post to break the deadlock in the second minute
Koeman brought tall center-forward De Jong to the break and Barca’s most effective first-half tactics also became the plan within 45 seconds. Araujo was again denied and Pique’s introduction gave Oscar Mingueza on the right and Sergino Dest on the left another header to choose from in Granada’s penalty area.
Granada winless in their first four games were close to matching their Camp Nou result last April when they claimed their first win at the Barcelona stadium.
It looked like they had pulled it off, but in the last minute of regulation time Pique had time to drop the ball into his box and when he sent it back to Gavi, the 17-year-old midfielder center. was led by Araujo for the equalizer.
Koeman will be happy to have another game on Thursday and just three days to answer questions about his future.
Duarte goes to party after giving his team an early lead at Camp Nou
Ronald Koeman couldn’t hide his frustration as he watched his team concede from the start
Promising 17-year-old Gavi (right) provided the assist with which his side secured a draw
This result leaves them seventh with a game in hand, but what is more concerning is the way they play and the rapidly dwindling alternatives for the manager under fire.
17-year-old left-back Alejandro Balde started the game in place of injured Jordi Alba but left with a back problem.
“It is what it is” was Koeman’s response to the loss to Bayern. He no longer believes that it is possible to compete with Bayern Munich. But if Barca struggle to compete with Granada, it will be a long season.
Scroll down to see how it all went with Sportsmail’s live runner.