Sports

Football: Relief for Barca as Messi ensures Setien enjoys winning start

BARCELONA (REUTERS) – Barcelona may have a new coach but Lionel Messi remains their unquestionable talisman after guiding the Spanish champions to a nervy 1-0 win at home to Granada in La Liga on Sunday (Jan 19) in Quique Setien's first game in charge of the club.

The Argentine struck the only goal in the 76th minute.

During a blustery evening at Camp Nou, he fired into the bottom corner to complete a well crafted team move shortly after the visitors had defender German Sanchez sent off.

Barca, who sacked Ernesto Valverde last week despite being La Liga leaders and winning the last two titles by considerable margins, enjoyed 82% of possession but struggled to find their way through a compact Granada who beat them 2-0 in September.

The visitors even came close to taking the lead in the second half when Cameroonian Yan Brice Eteki struck the post in a rare foray forward but they eventually caved in after Sanchez picked up a second yellow card and was dismissed for hauling down Messi.

Messi had come closest to scoring for Barca with two powerful yet inaccurate shoRead More – Source