Barcelona registered a comfortable 5-2 victory over Manuel Pellegrini’s Real Betis in their La Liga fixture this weekend. Koeman started Griezmann alongside Fati and Dembele in the flanks. Starman Lionel Messi was left out of the first-team but did substitute Ansu Fati at the start of the second half.
Lionel Messi: the saviour for Barcelona
The 6-time-Balon D’or winner impacted a comeback as his team was held in a 1-1 draw when he took the pitch. Ronald Koeman talked about the team’s performance in the post-match session, especially about the club captain Lionel Messi and World Cup winner Antoine Griezmann.
The Dutch manager spoke about Leo’s display on the pitch and why he did not start the game for Barcelona. Koeman claimed that the Argentine had a minor problem after their last Champions League fixture against Dynamo Kyiv which the Catalan club won 2-1. He claimed that Messi was kept on the bench only if he was required as he did not want to risk any injury threats. Fati was called off the pitch for Leo who finally scored his first goal from open play this season. He also converted a penalty as he netted a brace to take his tally to 6 goals in this campaign.
Griezmann steps up
Barcelona needed this win after their run of dismal form in La Liga and ended up in 12th position after playing 6 games. The Catalunya outfit gained 5 places in the league table at 11 points post their win over Betis. Ronald Koeman will now try to catch up to their opponents Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid as soon as possible. It was a match to prove for Antoinne Griezmann who was the most valuable player in the squad last night.
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The Frenchman missed a penalty to increase Barcelona’s lead after Dembele’s opener but composed himself to score the second goal from a ball played by Jordi Alba. His performance earned him praise from Koeman as he ended the match with a goal and an assist to his name.
The manager blamed his lack of form in recent days due to his bad luck and hoped his scoring run continues to the benefit of the Blaugrana, as per Sport. This was Griezmann’s second goal for Barca in the 2020/21 season which is not surprising as Koemann experimented with starting him as a number 9.