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Lamine Yamal, Roberto react after Granada 2-2 Barcelona: “We drew a game we needed to win”



Photo by JORGE GUERRERO/AFP via Getty Images

Barcelona came back from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against Granada in their final La Liga game before the international break on Sunday night.

The reigning champions made a disastrous start to the game, conceding within 20 seconds after kickoff and saw Granada double their advantage a bit further into the first half.

But the Catalans did not stop fighting and pulled a goal back on the cusp of half-time courtesy of Lamine Yamal, who became the youngest goalscorer in La Liga history with his first-ever strike for Barcelona.

After sustained pressure in the second half, Barça equalised through captain Sergi Roberto and could have come away with a win if Joao Felix’s goal was not ruled out for a contentious offside call.

Yamal left with a bittersweet taste

In a short period of time, Yamal has been breaking all sorts of records for club and country and last night was a special one for the 16-year-old, for he became the all-time youngest goalscorer for Barcelona and in La Liga overall.

While that gave him immense pleasure, the La Masia wonderkid admitted that it would have felt much better if Barça had won the game.

“I’m very happy for the goal and the record, but I’m left with a bittersweet taste because we drew a game we needed to win,” he said after the game (h/t Mundo Deportivo).

Despite it being a hugely special moment for him, Yamal did not celebrate his first goal for Barça and explained the reason for that, saying: “I wasn’t thinking about the record, just about coming back from the game.”

The Blaugrana have had three draws away from home in La Liga against Getafe, Mallorca, and now Granada. But Yamal insisted that the team will get better, saying:

“We’ve played very strong teams at their home ground, but little by little we’ll be better and we’ll get better results.”

Barça were struck with yet another injury during last night’s game as Jules Kounde was taken off with a knee issue, while Xavi revealed after the game that Yamal himself had some discomfort and asked to be taken off.

On the injuries within the team, the youngster admitted it is natural and hoped his teammates return soon, saying: “Every team has injuries due to the accumulation of games. I hope that my teammates will recover soon and we will be together again.”

Roberto calls for improvement

Roberto equalised for Barcelona. (Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images)

The other goalscorer on the night, Sergi Roberto, made an impact after coming on to replace Fermin Lopez in the second period.

The Barcelona captain has not played much this season but made sure to capitalise on his opportunity with a goal that salvaged a point for his team.

“Despite going 2-0 down so early, we just wanted to win the three points,” he said after the game, as quoted by Mundo Deportivo.

The versatile star regretted the manner in which Barcelona conceded the two goals despite being aware of the threat posed by Bryan Zaragoza, as he said:

“We knew we had to be careful with the losses due to the speed of Bryan Zaragoza and the power of Lucas Boyé, but the goals came.”

Calling for improvement from the team, Roberto added: “With patience, we managed to equalise and then we fought until the end, but we have to improve.”

On the matter of Joao Felix’s disallowed goal, Roberto did not point any fingers at VAR and insisted that the Blaugrana should have done better and scored much earlier.

“That’s what the VAR is for, they’ve looked at it, I don’t know if Ferran intervenes a lot, but we should have done our duty before.”

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