Antoine Griezmann – the missing piece of the puzzle

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Antoine Griezmann - the missing piece of the puzzle 1

Antoine Griezmann has finally joined Barcelona in a £107m move from Atletico Madrid. Many football fans were wondering where the Frenchman can fit in Blaugrana’s attack. He will compete with Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele for a position at the front.

With all three forwards sidelined at the start of the season, the world cup winner started to answer that question sooner rather than later. Griezmann shined at his home debut at Camp Nou where Barca hammered Betis on Sunday. The main aspects of his stellar performance may give an idea of how he can contribute on the field for his new employers.

Lethal finishing

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Griezmann netted twice in his first home appearance. He started as a central forward with Rafinha and Carles Perez playing on either side of him. Barcelona were trailing after only 15 minutes, so his equalizer changed the game dramatically. The Frenchman volleyed the ball into the net with his first touch after reaching to Sergi Roberto’s through the pass. The ball was falling way ahead of him but he controlled it well and managed to put enough power into his effort.

The second goal was even better. Griezmann produced a beautiful curling shot from the edge of the penalty area. The goalkeeper had absolutely no chance to save his perfectly placed shot. The French international showed his ability to score different kinds of goals and his efforts led to Barca’s complete comeback.

Off-the-ball movement and link-up play

Barcelona are famous for their free-flowing football where the players are allowed to roam freely between their respective positions. Griezmann surely enjoyed the license to interchange with his teammates. He showed his poacher’s instinct when he anticipated that a through ball was coming his way for the first goal. The world cup winner found just enough space on the right for his second goal. His forward runs were a nightmare for the defenders and allowed Blaugrana’s wingers more time on the ball.

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Four Betis players were concentrated on containing Griezmann when Carles Perez scored his debut goal for the club. The French international came deep to receive the ball on multiple occasions which pulled Betis’ defenders out of their positions. Griezmann even made a great tackle to start a counter-attack in the second half. His final contribution was his first-touch assist to Arturo Vidal for the fifth goal. It showed his great reading of the game and lack of egotism.

Antoine Griezmann has the perfect skill set to complement Messi and Suarez when they come back from injuries. He also proved to be the leader in Barca’s attack in their absence.

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