Antoine Griezmann enjoyed a good night for Barcelona on Saturday, scoring twice and picking up an assist in an impressive 4-0 win over Granada in La Liga.
The France international was happy to offer his thoughts after the match and made a surprise admission about compatriot Samuel Umtiti. The defender made his first start of the season at late notice after Ronald Araujo picked up an injury in the warm-up.
Griezmann admitted after the full-time whistle that Umtiti, who hadn’t made a start for Barcelona in 2020-21 before kick-off, hadn’t been expecting to play and wasn’t really ready for the game.
Samuel came back into the 11, he wasn’t really ready in fact, they warned him late on he had to play. I think we worked well as a unit and I’m happy that I got two goals today. I’m happy with the team’s work ethic and the win will help our confidence.
We needed the three points, we needed to win. We are very happy with the team’s effort today. We knew it was tough to come here, we started very well, and then the second half some of the big players were able to rest.
Umtiti went on to put a polished performance alongside Oscar Mingueza in central defense and helped Barcelona keep a clean sheet at Los Carmenes.
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Praise for Umtiti
Coach Ronald Koeman praised Umtiti after the match and his team’s defense after an impressive win that extends Barca’s unbeaten run to eight games, as reported by Marca.
Defensively, the team has been very good. Samuel has not played for a long time, and he has been very good. And Busi ahead, too. And we were missing Lenglet and Araujo. Umiti and Oscar have proven to have a place in this team.
Young Mingueza also shone in defense, in what was just his ninth La Liga appearance. The 21-year-old also spoke about Umtiti after the game, as reported by Marca, “He played a very good game and he deserved it after such a long time. I’m very happy for him.”
Barca were without Clement Lenglet due to suspension, although the Frenchman will now return after serving a one-match ban for yellow card accumulation. Yet the Catalan giants face an anxious wait to see if Araujo is set for a spell on the sidelines.
MEDICAL UPDATE | @RonaldAraujo939 has right thigh discomfort. Further tests pending. pic.twitter.com/5DQEd6Wetm
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 9, 2021
Araujo has been in solid form for Barcelona and has enjoyed plenty of game time with Gerard Pique out injured and not expected back for some time.
Griezmann Hitting Form?
There were plenty of positives for Barcelona from Wednesday’s win. The performances of Mingueza and Umtiti rightly drew praise, while Griezmann appears to be hitting form after a dry run in front of goal.
The Frenchman picked up an assist last time out and followed that up with another effective display against Granada.
3 – Antoine Griezmann 🇫🇷 (two goals and one assist against Granada) has been involved in three goals in the same game for @FCBarcelona for the second time in all competitions (two goals and one assist against Real Betis in August 2019). Dance. pic.twitter.com/zGCcwpvn2y
— OptaJose (@OptaJose) January 9, 2021
Griezmann again assisted Lionel Messi who also appears refreshed after receiving treatment on an ankle injury over the Christmas break. The 33-year-old returned to action against Huesca and now has four goals and an assist in his last three games for Barcelona.
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