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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...

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....

Ivan Rakitic and Luis Suarez save sloppy Barcelona in Granada

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

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...

Luis Enrique pleased as Barcelona refocus for La Liga victory

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

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique praised his side's attitude and effectiveness in difficult conditions when speaking after Saturday afternoon's 3-1 La Liga win at Granada.

Barca were pressed at times by the relegation-threatened Andalusians, but eventually emerged with a clear victory thank to goals from man of the match Ivan Rakitic, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi, with the home side's consolation coming from a Javi Marquez penalty.

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The result helps Barca bounce back from last weekend's shock 1-0 loss...