It ended with more whistles. Ronald Araujo saved Barcelona a point but aside from the Uruguayan’s superb display, this was a miserable night.
Granada came flying out of the blocks and caught Sergio Busquets sleeping. Escudero’s cross looped over Ter Stegen to the back post where Domingos Duarte had shaken loose Frenkie de Jong and headed home.
The bad news for Barcelona was that they could not respond with the kind of pressure they used to in these situations.
At least not until Granada came close again, with Jorge Molina volleying over from Darwin Machis’s cross.
Finally in the last 10 minutes of the first half, Barcelona began to create chances. Araujo was denied by a brilliant save by Maximiano. The Uruguayan defender had clearly been the team’s best player.
Sergi Roberto, who hit the bar, went off at the break for Luuk de Jong, as Koeman changed tack and looked for more of a solid presence in the middle. He had already lost Alejandro Balde, sadly, to a back problem.
Granada’s incessant time-wasting irritated the Camp Nou as the minutes ticked along.
Eventually Barcelona got the goal they needed, from Araujo. Who else? Gerard Pique had been thrown on up front but it needed the Uruguayan defender to come up with the goods. A typically towering header from eight yards out, from Gavi’s cross.
One Ronald on the rise, the other…