- FC Barcelona played its defenders as makeshift strikers as it salvaged a late draw against Granada.
- Gerard Pique and Ronaldo Araujo both played up-front, with the latter scoring an 90th minute equalizer.
- The move is the latest to illustrate just how much Barcelona is struggling in the aftermath of Lionel Messi leaving.
FC Barcelona defenders Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo played as makeshift strikers as Ronald Koeman’s salvaged a late 1-1 draw against Granada in La Liga on Monday.
The Spanish giant went behind at the Camp Nou in just the second minute courtesy of Domingos Duarte’s back-post header.
Despite hammering at the door, the home side was unable to find an equalizer, with striker Luuk de Jong missing a number of gilt-edged chances.
Desperate to avoid a second defeat in the space of a week having been hammered by Bayern Munich in the Champions League, manager Ronald Koeman threw on Pique to join De Jong as a striker in the 75th minute.
The Spanish defender was later joined by Araujo up-top, with the Uruguayan going on to bag the leveler with a fine header in the 90th minute.
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Explaining his decision to use Pique and Araujo as strikers, Koeman said after the match: “We changed our style a little bit.
“If you see the list of players, what do you do? Play tiki-taka? Tiki-taka when there are no spaces?”
Barcelona forwards Ousmane Dembele, Ansu Fati, Martin Braithwaite, and Sergio Aguero were all sidelined for the game with injury.
“We did what we had to do,” Koeman added. “We tried to win another way. We don’t have players one-on-one or with speed.”
While the result means Barcelona remain unbeaten in La Liga this season, it did little to paper over the cracks of another poor display as the club continues to struggle in the absence of Lionel Messi.
Ronald Koeman is on the brink of losing his job, according to one report.
Without Messi, who joined Paris Saint Germain in the summer, the Catalans have struggled for creativity in the final third.
In all competitions, the team has managed just eight goals so far, four of which came on the opening day of the La Liga season in a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad.
By the same point last season, Koeman’s side had managed 18 goals.
After the final whistle at the Camp Nou, whistles rang out around the home crowd.
According to Goal, the result was the final nail on the coffin for Koeman, who will be sacked come the arrival of the next international break in October, with Belgium boss Roberto Martinez the club’s top target to replace him.
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