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Luis Suarez: Tough year ahead for Barcelona

Spanish champions suffer worst start to a La Liga season in 25 years

Forward Luis Suarez warned that Barcelona face a "tough, complicated year" after a 2-0 loss at Granada consigned the La Liga leaders to their worst start to a season in 25 years.

Granada got off to a flying start when Ramon Azeez headed them in front in the second minute. Alvaro Vadillo scored from the penalty spot midway through the second half to seal all three points, taking the Andalusian minnows to the top of the league yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Said Suarez: "Tonight was a worrying defeat, and it hurts a lot. There were many things that we did not do well and we must be self-critical.

"We have to look at how effective we are in front of goal.

"We had a lot of possession, but created very few chances...

"These are the types of games that win you the title. We have to be tougher if we're going to win the league. We have a tough, complicated year ahead of us."

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde left Lionel Messi out of the starting line-up as the Argentine is still not fully fit after recovering from a calf injury suffered in pre-season.

The coach called on his captain at half-time, along with 16-year-old Ansu Fati, who had scored and provided an assist on his full debut in the 5-2 drubbing of Valencia, but neither player was able to bring the team to life.

Barca are eighth in La Liga on seven points, their lowest total after five games since the 1994/95 campaign.

The back-to-back Spanish champions have not won an away game in any competition since April. Barca have also conceded twice in all their five La Liga matches this season, save for their season-opening 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao.

Valverde said that he is worried by his side's predicament, admitting his side did not deserve to beat Granada.

He said: "I'm worried because away from home we aren't getting good results...

"There are players who arrived late, but we haven't been good... We dominated, but we don't turn that into goalscoring chances.

"We didn't have a chance of turning the game around.

"We're missing precision in the final third, they tried to press us, we came out well from the pressure and then it was a matter of adding the finishing touch, that's where we went wrong."

Fellow Spanish giants Atletico Madrid are also suffering a blip. After seeing their 100 per cent start ended by a 2-0 defeat by Real Sociedad two weeks ago, they again failed to find the net in a 0-0 draw with Celta Vigo yesterday.


  • Espanyol 1 Real Sociedad 3
  • Valencia 1 Leganes 1