Griezmann Continues To Impress For Barcelona4 min read
Once Barcelona had gone behind against Real Betis, albeit from a fabulous finish by Nabil Fekir, the groans could be heard loud and clear at the Camp Nou.
An unexpected opening day defeat at Athletic Club had seen a naturally pessimistic fan base develop a tendency to over-elaborate on the nature of Barca’s predicament. If the reaction wasn’t ‘knee-jerk,’ it wasn’t far off.
Now the Blaugrana were behind again, and there was no Lionel Messi to bail them out of trouble. He was sat in the stands alongside another injury victim, Luis Suarez. In Barca’s hour of need, a hero was required.
Step forward Antoine Griezmann.
The Frenchman had already put in a hardworking performance against the Andalusians, but it was his volleyed first goal for the club which had the fans chanting his name.
No mean feat when you consider how many bridges he burned in leaving his new employers out to dry a year ago.
It’s clear that he’s got a lot of making up to do in that regard before he’s embraced fully by cules, but the manner of his second, outstanding, goal will bring him the love he craves in double-quick time if he keeps pulling finishes like that out of the bag.
There was little danger when he received the ball on the apex of the area, but the way in which he bent the ball around the defender and into the opposite corner of the net was sensational.
Everyone knows the Frenchman is capable of that, of course, because he’s done it time and again for Atletico Madrid.
But it was the first time he’d delivered for Barcelona, and on his official home debut too.
Not content with a brace, he was still hunting for his hat-trick goal when the official blew the whistle, evidencing a worth ethic that will hold him in good stead for the remainder of the La Liga campaign.
Though his over the top celebrations aren’t to everyone’s taste, he’ll be forgiven for a bit of fun as long as he continues to find the net and, as importantly, put in a shift for the team.
That’s a prerequisite as far as Barcelona are concerned, and Griezmann only needs to look at his captain for an example of what’s expected.
At least the club can see the high quality of play that the World Cup winner brings to the team and in an era when ‘Messi-dependence’ is still a watchword, Griezmann might just be the remedy.