Barcelona's Xavi Hernandez (R) and Cesc Fabregas celebrate a goal against Granada during their Spanish First Division soccer league match at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona September 22, 2012. (Photo : REUTERS/Albert Gea (SPAIN - Tags: SPORT SOCCER) )
Barcelona remains perfect through the start of the 2012-13 season despite a lackluster performance against lowly Granada.
The best team in La Liga struggled to create offensive opportunities for what amounted to 87 minutes as Granada defended with aplomb and even countered dangerously. But Xavi, who came in as a 53rd minute substitute for Thiago Alcantara curved a beautiful blast from outside the box into the left hand corner.
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Barcelona got some insurance in stoppage time as Borja Gomez put a Lionel Messi cross into his own net to secure a 2-0 win for Barca.
Tito Vilanova's squad dominated possession 75 percent to 25 percent created a number of prime scoring chances that pushed Granada keeper Tono to the limit. But the visitor's keeper was more than up to the task and was practically stealing points from Barca up until the moment when Xavi finally broke through.
The win give Barcelona a perfect record of five wins in five games. They have 15 points and have secured a comfortably 11 point lead on rivals Real Madrid who will be in action tomorrow evening.
Next weekend Barcelona takes on FC Sevilla as they prepare for a matchup with Real Madrid in a few weeks. Meanwhile Granada takes on Celta Vigo.