Valverde: Griezmann reacted perfectly in Barca victory

first_imgBarcelona coach Ernesto Valverde praised Antoine Griezmann for stepping up in their La Liga win over Real Betis on Sunday.Griezmann scored his first goals for Barca with a brace in a 5-2 victory over Betis at Camp Nou.With Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele sidelined due to injuries, the forward led the club to their first win of the league campaign. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Valverde hailed Griezmann, who also contributed an assist, for delivering when Barca needed it most.”I have to recognise that it was an important day for him due to the injuries we had. He reacted perfectly,” Valverde said post-match. “He dropped into the midfield to help and he made an impact. We know that if attacking players track back, we have a better chance of winning.”It is essential that more players score goals. The fact that Griezmann scores gives him some security.”  Messi has been working his way back from a calf injury, but the superstar forward missed the meeting with Betis.Valverde declaring after the match that he was never going to risk the 32-year-old unnecessarily.  “There wasn’t a positive feeling. He hasn’t had a relapse of the injury,” Valverde said. “We already said that we wouldn’t rush any player. What we wanted to avoid was a relapse.”Missing so many players, Valverde opted to bring on 16-year-old Anssumane Fati late in game as the teenager became the club’s youngest debutant since 1941. “He has a lot of self-confidence, goes to space, faces one-on-one,” Valverde said.”He is the youngest player I’ve ever handed a debut, but as with veterans, we look at performance, he can give us good performances and that’s why I gave him his debut.”Ansu has surprised us because he has qualities, we will see what happens in the future.”last_img