Antoine Griezmann had one more perplexing afternoon in a Barcelona shirt on Saturday towards Real Betis.

The Frenchman fizzed a few early photographs simply extensive, noticed a penalty saved by Claudio Bravo however then popped up with a objective and an help within the second half.

The aid when he lastly scored was palpable and it was no shock to see his face mild up with an enormous smile. But there was a extra telling shot late on when the cameras panned to Griezmann sitting within the stands after being substituted and looking out completely depressing.

The objective ought to give the Frenchman some much-needed confidence, and Ronald Koeman did reward the ahead after the match. But you’ll be able to’t assist however really feel Griezmann shall be relieved to be heading off on France responsibility and getting away from Barca for some time.

FC Barcelona v Real Betis - La Liga Santander

Picture by Eric Alonso/Getty Photos

The massive shock forward of kick-off was the information that Lionel Messi had been overlooked of the beginning line-up for the sport towards Betis.

Koeman had refused to relaxation Messi up till now, and it turned out afterwards that he been taken out of the staff after feeling a little bit of a niggle after Dynamo Kiev.

But you wouldn’t have recognized he had an issue by his second-half efficiency. The captain arrived at half-time with the scores at 1-1 and led his staff to a 5-2 win.

The captain teed up Griezmann superbly to make it 2-1, added Barca’s third from the penalty spot after which smashed dwelling his first objective from open play in 2020-21 to make it 4-2.

It was an influential efficiency by the captain and will shut up a number of the doubters after some nonsense criticism within the wake of the Dynamo Kiev win.

Pedri began once more for Barcelona towards Betis and confirmed once more simply why he’s getting a lot sport time this season. No-one anticipated the 17-year-old to be an everyday within the staff by November however that’s what’s occurred and it’s properly deserved.

{The teenager} produced a superb flicked cross for Antoine Grizemann which deserved much better from the Frenchman but additionally popped up late to attain his first La Liga objective for his new membership.

Pedri has benefited from Philippe Coutinho’s damage which has seen the Brazilian sidelined for the previous 4 video games, however on this way he might properly maintain his place even when Coutinho’s able to return.

FC Barcelona v Real Betis - La Liga Santander

Picture by Eric Alonso/Getty Photos

There’s little doubt the win will ease some strain on Ronald Koeman after a run of 4 video games with no win in La Liga, however there’s nonetheless loads of work for the brand new coach nonetheless to do.

As soon as once more Barcelona missed a number of possibilities and have now misplaced Ansu Fati to damage. {The teenager} has had a fantastic begin to the season and will definitely be missed.

But defensively there have been additionally points as soon as once more. Sergi Roberto contributed two assists however that ought to not masks his struggles on the proper facet of the defence.

In the meantime, Gerard Pique and Clement Lenglet have been removed from commanding, as Barcelona proceed to look defensively weak.

Certainly goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen didn’t must be fairly as influential on Saturday however nonetheless made quite a lot of vital stops to disclaim Actual Betis extra targets.

One participant who’s doing the enterprise for Barcelona is Ousmane Dembele. The Frenchman scored his first La Liga objective in over a 12 months with a merely sensible strike to open the scoring.

That’s now three for the season for the 23-year-old and, maybe extra importantly, he’s additionally having fun with a run of video games for the primary time in a very long time.

Dembele additionally gained the penalty within the second half after his goalbound shot was dealt with and will be happy with an excellent afternoon’s work.

The damage to Ansu Fati means Dembele will turn out to be much more vital to Barca within the coming weeks and months, let’s hope he can keep match and maintain enjoying like this.



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