Antoine Griezmann demonstrated Barcelona could triumph with no Lionel Messi and perform without Neymar also after he scored twice in a 5-2 demolition of Real Betis on Sunday. Griezmann pitched confetti into the air as he celebrated his moment at Camp Nou, where he had been the star performer, if just for a night at the lack of Messi, who’s still short of fitness.
A dazzling Barcelona performance delivered a resounding reply to the doubts out of their defeat to Athletic Bilbao last weekend, even one of them a dependence on Messi, the demand for Neymar along with also the future of Ernesto Valverde as a trainer.
But as Carles Perez, Jordi Alba, and Arturo Vidal made it three, five and four, the gloom had been abandoned, combined with Nabil Fekir’s opener at the 15th minute, which had Betis degree at half-time.
Barcelona will expect to possess Messi back to the visit to Osasuna second weekend however with Luis Suarez, and Ousmane Dembele out both for more, Griezmann’s announcement display proved to be timely.
This was his first target in Camp Nou in 14 appearances, five of these for Real Sociedad and eight for Atletico, along with his entire performance was of somebody prepared to direct, rather than function only as a foil for Messi.
Sergio Busquets was to blame for Betis’ opener since he gave away the ball, letting Fekir push in the corner.
However, Barca appeared dangerous and so was undeterred, even though Gerard Pique, on his 500th appearance for the club was fortunate to escape just with a yellow card when he fouled Loren because the previous guy.
Rafinha missed a superb opportunity to equalize until Griezmann took over, volleying in about the stretch four moments before half-time, beyond the feeble hands of Dani Martin. He gathered the ball 25 yards out and utilized Sidnei as a mark to bend his shooter and in the far corner.
Griezmann hurried to the corner at which confetti was hauled into his palms. He pitched it to the air over his head.
Barca was persistent as Perez drove to the corner and Alba made it four, latching on a super Busquets pass within the full-back.
There was still time to get two scintillating strikes, the first from Vidal, that had been slid in by Griezmann, and the moment by Loren, that had been given too much distance. It had been no longer than a consolation.
Barcelona remains behind Atletico, who maintained their best start with another 1-0 victory, now over Leganes since Vitolo came off the bench to score a second-half winner in Butarque.
After hammering Getafe last weekend at precisely the same scoreline, Atletico has familiarly started the season, together with efficacy trumping innovation despite an ambitious group of summer signings.
The 19-year-old’s perfectly-timed pass supplied the help of Vitolo while Felix was chosen out by Kieran Trippier, who had been faultless on his next Atletico start.