Barcelona's injury list seems to be growing by the minute. With the absence of Lionel Messi, Xavi, Victor Vales, Cristian Tello, and Dani Alves the Catalan giants were under pressure to perform without some of their main men. However they put these accusations to rest with yet another sublime performance at home against 10th place Granada.
Iniesta and Fabregas slotted home two penalties to put Barcelona up 2-0 at the half. Alexis continued his goal scoring run with a brilliant chip in the 70th minute, and Pedro finished Granada off a minute before the final whistle.
This match proved that FC Barcelona are a more complete team than many had previously thought, as many of the secondary players performed just as well as the regular starters. Especially Jose Manuel Pinto, (who replaced the injured Valdes) was able to make a few key saves and kept a clean sheet.
When news surfaced that Barcelona would be without World Player of the Year Lionel Messi until the New Year, many wondered who would deliver the goals for the La Blaugrana. Neymar, Alexis and Pedro stepped up to the plate, and all managed to have a huge impact on the game. Messi's injury, although tragic, will give this squad a chance to develop, rather than solely rely on a single player to lead the squad.
In fact, these injuries have given Barcelona's youngsters an opportunity to get some time on the pitch, including Sergi Roberto and 17-year old Adama Traore. Marc Barta is also enjoying his first team football, and helped Barcelona keep another clean sheet.
Despite an injury list riddled with some of the worlds most talented players, Barcelona may just benefit more than they have lost as a result of these injuries. As the youngsters develop, and others tone their abilities, when the likes of Messi return to the lineup, he may not have to carry the goal scoring load on his back anymore and Barcelona will be a much more complete squad. Neymar, Sanchez, Pedro and Fabregas will also be able to chip in their fair share of goals as well.
If other players can relieve some of the goal-scoring pressure placed on Leo Messi, and if Bartra can continue his outstanding defensive work rate, Bareclona as a team will improve immensely, a scary thought for the rest of world.
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