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Barca make Granada comeback but lose ground in La Liga

Barcelona came back from two goals down to share a thrilling 2-2 draw with Granada but lost ground in the La Liga title race on Sunday.

Bryan Zaragoza sent the hosts two goals ahead but Lamine Yamal and Sergi Roberto’s goals preserved the champions’ record as the only unbeaten team in La Liga.

However the Catalans are now third and sit three points behind leaders Real Madrid, and one behind neighbours Girona, who both won on Saturday.

Zaragoza struck twice in the first half, breaking the deadlock after only 17 seconds — the fastest goal Barcelona have conceded in the 21st century.

Yamal pulled Barcelona back into the game just before half-time, becoming La Liga’s youngest ever goalscorer in the process at 16 years and 87 days.

Xavi Hernandez’s side levelled with three minutes remaining when substitute Sergi Roberto turned home, but they could not find a late winner in a high-octane finale.

It was the third comeback they have made in recent weeks, beating Celta Vigo from two goals down and twice falling behind at Mallorca in another 2-2 draw.

Barcelona’s night was also marred by a knee injury to Jules Kounde, with the Catalans already tending to Robert Lewandowski, Frenkie de Jong, Pedri and Raphinha in the treatment room.

Xavi deployed Ferran Torres as a false nine to replace Lewandowski, while he handed Fermin Lopez his first start for the club in midfield.

The coach left Oriol Romeu on the bench, starting without a pure defensive midfielder and dividing the role up between Ilkay Gundogan and Gavi.

The latter turned into trouble immediately, with Granada stealing the ball from the young midfielder in the build-up to the first goal.

Lucas Boye fed Zaragoza, who fired across Marc-Andre ter Stegen, who might have done more to keep the shot from finding the bottom corner, although the ball appeared to bobble before passing the Barcelona goalkeeper.

Gavi forced a save at the other end and Joao Felix fired wide as Barcelona hunted the equaliser, but struggled to break down Granada’s defence.

Zaragoza doubled the hosts’ lead at the Nuevo Los Carmenes stadium with a brilliant individual goal, leaving Kounde wobbling before finishing sublimely with the outside of his boot into the top corner.

Record breaker

Barcelona found a route back into the match in first-half stoppage time when Felix prodded the ball into Yamal’s path just a couple of yards out and he rolled home to break yet another record.

However there was no time for Yamal, Spain’s youngest ever player and goalscorer, to celebrate.

Barcelona hunted for another goal after the break, with Gundogan forcing a good stop from Andre Ferreira and Ronald Araujo hammering inches wide.

Eventually the equaliser came through Sergi Roberto, who turned home Alejandro Balde’s low cross, while Granada complained about a collision earlier in the move they wanted called as a foul.

Zaragoza almost claimed his hat-trick as the hosts responded furiously, but he crashed a shot off the post as the game flew end-to-end.

Felix headed in what he thought was the winner and Xavi leapt for joy on the touchline, but Ferran Torres, who did not touch the ball yet was ruled to be interfering with play, was offside.

Standings provided by Sofascore

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