GRANADA: Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann each scored twice as Barcelona thrashed Granada 4-0 away yesterday to win a third consecutive La Liga game for the first time this season.
Griezmann opened the scoring in the 12th minute while Messi struck twice before the break to make it four goals in his last two matches and go top of the league’s scoring charts with 11 goals.
French forward Griezmann scored a classy second goal after halftime while things got worse for Granada when Jesus Vallejo was sent off in the 78th minute for clattering into Barca substitute Martin Braithwaite.
The victory took Barca back into third place in the standings with 34 points, closing the gap with leaders Atletico Madrid to four points. However, Atletico, whose game with Athletic Bilbao was postponed due to heavy snow in the Spanish capital, have three matches in hand.
“This is an important win, we knew we were in a difficult situation and couldn’t afford to lose any more games and it’s been a very good week for us, winning three games, all away from home, and while playing some very good football,” said Barca coach Ronald Koeman.
Barca had produced one of their best displays under Koeman in Wednesday’s 3-2 win at Athletic Bilbao but have tended to struggle for consistency this campaign, in particular away from home. But the resounding victory sealed an elusive third win in a row, beginning with a 1-0 victory away to Huesca last Sunday.