Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis: Griezmann double lights up Camp Nou

By Sports Desk August 25, 2019

Antoine Griezmann scored his first Barcelona goals as Ernesto Valverde's side recorded a thumping 5-2 LaLiga win over Real Betis on Sunday.

Griezmann endured a disappointing debut in last weekend's surprise 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao, but the €120million signing from Atletico Madrid – leading the line in the absence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – announced himself to the Camp Nou faithful in style.

Nabil Fekir had given Betis a shock 15th-minute lead before Griezmann turned the game on its head either side of half-time with two fine finishes.

Barcelona did not look back after his second, adding further goals through Carles Perez – his first for the club – Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal before Loren Moron's wonderful late consolation for the visitors.

Barca started sharply, going close through Sergi Roberto and Griezmann, but it was the visitors who struck first.

The hosts lost possession cheaply in the middle of the pitch, allowing Loren Moron to feed the marauding Fekir. The former Lyon man pulled away from Alba and dispatched a clinical left-footed strike from 16 yards into Marc-Andre ter Stegen's bottom-left corner.

Barca came agonisingly close to restoring parity 10 minutes before the interval when Rafinha's close-range effort was diverted narrowly past the post by the outstretched leg of Sidnei.

They did pull level in the 41st minute, however, Griezmann stretching superbly to meet Roberto's clipped ball over the top and volley past Dani Martin.

Roberto was the provider again for Griezmann's second in the 50th minute, the France international whipping a glorious left-footed strike past Martin from 18 yards.

Barcelona were well and truly in the mood and scored a third six minutes later when Perez skipped past his marker and coolly slotted past a helpless Martin from just inside the area.

The Betis goalkeeper picked the ball out his net again just four minutes later, this time from Alba. The left-back surged into the penalty area, collected Sergio Busquets' pass and slid past the beleaguered Martin.

Barca eased off in the final 30 minutes, but they did add a fifth in the 77th minute when substitute Vidal expertly steered into the roof of the net from 10 yards after being picked out by Griezmann.

The final goal was one from Betis, with Moron firing a wonderful strike into the top corner from 25 yards in the 79th minute, although it did little to detract from a fine Barca win.

What does it mean? Barca's attack in rude health

It was not all plain sailing for Barcelona – they were badly exposed at the back for Fekir's opener – but there was enough on show to suggest the Catalan giants will once again be the side to beat in LaLiga this season. The thought of Messi and Suarez joining Griezmann in attack is sure to give defenders across Spain sleepless nights.

Griezmann introduces himself in style

The World Cup winner took full advantage of Messi and Suarez's absences, leading the line superbly and opening his account with two typically efficient finishes.

Pique endures landmark game to forget

Across 500 games for Barcelona, Gerard Pique has firmly cemented his place as one of this generation's finest defenders. Little of his legendary composure was on show against Betis, however, with the 32-year-old looking surprisingly shaky against Fekir and friends.

What's next?

Barca will hope to make it back-to-back wins when they visit Osasuna on Saturday, while Betis host Leganes on the same day.

Related items

  • Barcelona boss Valverde quashes crisis talk amid poor start to LaLiga season Barcelona boss Valverde quashes crisis talk amid poor start to LaLiga season

    Ernesto Valverde dismissed claims of Barcelona being in crisis as nothing more than a quirk of modern football as he remained relaxed about speculation over his future.

    Barca's worst start to a LaLiga season in 25 years was confirmed by a shock 2-0 defeat at Granada on Saturday.

    The result, a second defeat in five league games for the champions, left them four points adrift of first and extended their winless run away from home to seven competitive matches, a streak that includes draws at Osasuna and Borussia Dortmund.

    Tuesday's home meeting with Villarreal presents a swift opportunity for Barca to get their campaign back on track and Valverde hopes to quieten a growing number of critics.

    "In the world of football, we talk about a crisis every three days and in three days you can be out of the crisis," Valverde said at his pre-match news conference.

    "That's what we want: we want to pick up the six points available this week.

    "Why are we in this situation? Because we haven't won, that's clear. There were moments when we weren't creating enough chances to turn the game around.

    "There are things we have to improve but, apart from the second half against Dortmund, none of our opponents have really been bombarding us with chances. We're getting penalised by occasional, one-off things that are happening.

    "We're creating the chances, but we need to create more. That's where we really need to improve. We need to create more than the opposition."

    One player capable of carving out scoring opportunities, Ousmane Dembele, will return to the squad against Villarreal after recovering from a hamstring injury.

    The fit-again Lionel Messi will be considered for a starting place following two successive appearances off the bench, but Ivan Rakitic has been left out.

    Anything less than victory at Camp Nou would pile further pressure on Valverde, who has faced stern scrutiny since last season's Champions League semi-final collapse against Liverpool.

    "It's not new. I have felt under examination from the beginning," the Blaugrana boss said.

    "There is a very large demand on coaches, much more in the case of Barca. The coach is always in the spotlight. It's no surprise."

  • Rumour Has It: Barcelona players losing confidence in Valverde Rumour Has It: Barcelona players losing confidence in Valverde

    Ernesto Valverde is facing a big week at Barcelona.

    Valverde is under pressure early in the season after Barca slumped to a 2-0 loss at Granada to be left with just seven points from their opening five games of the LaLiga season.

    Now, the next week is shaping as crucial for Valverde.

     

    TOP STORY – BARCELONA PLAYERS LOSING CONFIDENCE IN VALVERDE

    Several Barcelona players have started to lose confidence in Valverde, according to ESPN.

    With seven points from five league games, Barcelona have made their worst start to a season since 1994-95.

    Monday's cover of Sport says Valverde needs an urgent reaction, with his side hosting Villarreal on Tuesday and visiting Getafe four days later.

     

    ROUND-UP

    Barcelona are keeping an eye on Napoli midfielder Fabian Ruiz. Barca's sporting director Eric Abidal was present as Fabian scored in Napoli's 4-1 win over Lecce on Saturday, according to Calciomercato.

    AC Milan want to strengthen at right-back and are considering Tottenham defender Serge Aurier, according to Sportmediaset, amid suggestions Andrea Conti is struggling to impress.

    Jose Mourinho has had chances to return to management and the former Real Madrid and Manchester United boss apparently turned down a surprise opportunity last year. Fichajes reports Boca Juniors tried to convince Mourinho to take over, but the Portuguese tactician said he was not yet ready to leave Europe.

    Everton have made a slow start to the Premier League season and are assessing ways to strengthen their attack. The Daily Express reports they are interested in signing Yussuf Poulsen from RB Leipzig. The Denmark international scored 15 Bundesliga goals last season.

  • Ten-man Molynes United stay perfect with win over Arnett Gardens Ten-man Molynes United stay perfect with win over Arnett Gardens

    Newly promoted Molynes United maintained a perfect start to the new Red Stripe Premier League (RSPL) after slipping by former champions Arnett Gardens, despite going down to ten men, at the Waterhouse Stadium on Sunday.

    Nicholas Nelson gave the home team the lead in the lead in the 18th minute but was dramatically sent from the pitch only two minutes after.  His ejection left Arnett with a one-man advantage and plenty of time to turn the game around.  The team seemed to be well on their way to doing just that when Vishineul Harris equalised two minutes in the second half.

    The hosts, however, had more surprises as Tyrique Wilson fired them back into the lead in the 65th minute.  To make matters worse for Arnett, they were themselves reduced to ten men when Kimani Arbourine was sent off in the 82nd minute.  The win marked a fourth in a row for Molynes who top the RSPL standings with 12 points.

    At Harbour View Stadium, defending champions Portmore United secured their first win of the season with a 2-1 win over struggling Harbour View. 

    At the Edward Seaga Stadium, Tivoli Gardens snapped a three-game losing streak to start the season when they defeated Cavalier 2-0.  The match seemed to be headed for an even share of the points but the dismissal of Tivoli’s Clifton Woodbine gave the home team added impetus. 

    Rodrico Wellington gave Tivoli the lead six minutes later before Donovan Dawkins secured the home team their first win of the season in the 88th minute.

    At the Royal Lakes Complex, Dean-Andre Thomas scored a brace to ensure Dunbeholden kept the momentum from a narrow win over Portmore United last week, with a 2-0 win over newcomers Vere United.  Thomas scored from the penalty spot in the 40th minute before adding a second in the 83rd.

    At Effortville, Humble Lion and Waterhouse played to a 0-0 draw.

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.