Barcelona faced Real Betis in their first home game of the season on Sunday night and grabbed an emphatic 5-2 win in a game where they looked like their old selves again.
Despite conceding first, they ensured victory with a very commanding performance and the huge win will surely return the feel-good factor to a what has been a gloomy Camp Nou in recent weeks.
They didn’t have Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez or Ousmane Dembele but cometh the hour, cometh Antoine Griezmann.
The Frenchman put on a classic Griezmann display on the pitch with an impressive performance on his home Debut.
He scored two very good goals and another great assist to help his new team properly begin their season. With performances like this, he may well become invaluable to the squad.
Antoine Griezmann's game by numbers vs. Real Betis:
84% pass accuracy
10 touches in opp. box
5 penalty area entries
4 shots on target
2 chances created
Not a bad Camp Nou bow. 🙇♂️ pic.twitter.com/zxUE3J7sqJ
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) August 25, 2019
It was an all-round performance that saw him show all of his abilities when he is in full attack mode and it was a joy to watch for Barcelona fans and neutrals everywhere.
— Asmatullah (@asmat_mo) August 25, 2019
His pace, movement in and out of space all over the pitch, awareness and positioning along with the timing of his runs goes to show how much of a class act he is and how much of an impact he will have on this Barcelona team even without one or two key players in the squad.
His heatmap showed how much work he put in playing his role. Sometimes during the game, it seemed like there was nobody in the but because he dropped deep often but you have to be there when it counts which he was.
<Heat map provided by Squawka>
Some would say due to the fact Messi and Suarez are absent, he had to work harder but that is definitely not the case. A lot of the Barcelona team played really well especially Sergi Roberto who assisted both of Griezmann’s goals.
If Suarez is unavailable, Griezmann can play at the centrall striker position alongside Messi.
This means that the Barcelona attack will become more fluid and unpredictable because both players will be able to interchange positions whenever they and this is the best way to move defending teams around and open spaces and passing lanes.
Alternatively, when Messi is injured, Griezmann can play on the right or on the left and create and score off the Uruguayan like Messi does. He has already shown that he is good at playing in the hole or in deeper positions on the pitch and creating chances in tight areas.
In Atletico Madrid, Griezmann played for a team that was comfortable with closing up shop after going one going ahead but now, he will be playing for a Barcelona team attacks relentlessly even if they are winning by six.
Griezmann’s durability is another great attribute he has. With the injury problems of Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi and Ousmane Dembele, someone who will rarely miss games in attack is just what they need and Griezmann has that.
Here’s an interesting stat for you:
— The Sportsman Stats (@SportsmanStats) August 14, 2019
This one difference is huge when talking about their goal tallies and there will be no surprise if Griezmann scores a ridiculous amount of goals regardless of which position he plays this season.
Griezmann has gotten his Barcelona career off to a bang this season and we will surely expect more of the same from the mercurial Frenchman as promised by him.