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Barcelona

Pedro could be out at Barcelona

Barcelona
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Barcelona tough it out to earn a valuable three points vs. Granada

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson recaps Barcelona's comfortable win over Granada.

GRANADA, Spain -- Three quick thoughts from Barcelona's 3-1 win over Granada in La Liga at the Nuevo Los Carmenes on Saturday.

1. Barcelona tough it out

Barcelona were far from their fluid best here, but goals from Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi were enough to get three valuable points, with Granada's reply coming from a second-half Javi Marquez penalty.

Barca had warning of how difficult it can be coming to the Nuevo Los Carmenes, where Granada were unbeaten in six games since...

Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez save sloppy Barcelona in Granada

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson recaps Barcelona's comfortable win over Granada.
Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti says Bale has been playing well despite his lack of goals.

Barcelona achieved a decisive 3-1 win away at Granada in round 25 of La Liga action on Saturday. Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi scored for the club, who enjoyed 70 percent of possession, created 16 goal-scoring chances and attempted 16 shots, nine of them on target.

Luis Enrique introduced several changes to his preferred 11, including players who have enjoyed less and less playing time as the season has developed. The Catalans' level of intensity and fluency when on the ball dropped...

 By Sid Lowe

Sergio Busquets' new contract a deserved reward for Barca's quiet star

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reveals his latest power rankings for this week, which feature Barcelona on top despite a 1-0 loss to Malaga.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique lauded his side's first half performance as they won 2-1 at Manchester City in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie.

"It all happened so quick," Sergio Busquets says. He started the 2008-09 season at the municipal stadium in Santa Eulalia (capacity: 1,500). He ended it at the Estadio Olimpico in Rome (capacity: 70,600). From Spain's regionalised third division, with 350 teams spread over 17 groups, to the Champions League final in nine months. A European champion aged just 20, a year later he was a world champion with Spain.

Even the pitches had small in tercera, let alone the stands, now here he was on the...

Sergio Busquets' new deal is more good news ahead of Granada test

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reveals his latest power rankings for this week, which feature Barcelona on top despite a 1-0 loss to Malaga.

Sergio Busquets put his signature to an improved contract extension on Friday that will keep him at Barcelona until 2019, and that is good news for a club that wants to return to winning trophies after drawing an unusual blank last season. Busquets proved again on Tuesday at Manchester City that he is a player for the big occasion; he will likely be involved again at Granada on Saturday as Barca attempt to return to winning ways in La Liga after last week's shock home defeat to Malaga.

Still...

Barcelona stay top as Juventus take advantage of Chelsea's slip

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop reveals his latest power rankings for this week, which feature Barcelona on top despite a 1-0 loss to Malaga.
The ESPN FC crew discusses the potential backlash from a winter World Cup, why English teams aren't thriving in European competition and whether Barcelona and Real Madrid will meet in the Champions League final.

It's been a week of little movement in the Power Rankings. Barcelona stay on top but there is a jump for Juventus, who leapfrog the Premier League leaders.

1. Barcelona (no change)

The Catalan giants retain top spot despite losing in the league last weekend. That's because they then went out and taught Manchester City a footballing lesson with a supreme Champions League performance. Sure, Lionel Messi missed a last-minute penalty but, that aside, Barca's display was as professional as they come.

2....

Barcelona and Lionel Messi need mental toughness for La Liga, UCL

Relive the most memorable moments from Tuesday's Champions League round of 16 action, highlighted by Barcelona's 2-1 triumph at the Etihad.
Barcelona's Luis Suarez notched a brace, but Sergio Aguero's second-half strike gave Manchester City a lifeline heading into the second leg.
Barcelona's Luis Suarez notched a brace, but Sergio Aguero's second-half strike gave Manchester City a lifeline heading into the second leg.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno breaks down just how Barcelona were able to exploit Manchester City's defense on their sublime second goal.
ESPN FC's Craig Burley assesses Barcelona's 2-1 victory at the Etihad over Manchester City.

Barcelona's valuable 2-1 away against Manchester City was proof that they have what it takes to go all the way in this season's Champions League if fully focused on the task in hand. Reassuringly, the Blaugranas looked like a completely different team from the one that struggled to break Malaga's back-line and walked away with a deserved 1-0 home defeat in their last La Liga game.

While the return of Javier Mascherano and Ivan Rakitic to Luis Enrique's starting 11 brought back much-needed muscle,...