Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman took time out to praise Antoine Griezmann and Jordi Alba after both players scored twice in Wednesday’s memorable 5-3 Copa del Rey quarter-final win over Granada.
The visitors were trailing 2-0 with 88 minutes on the clock when Griezmann pulled one back for the Catalan giants. Alba then scored a header in stoppage time to force the game into extra-time.
Both players were on target again in the additional 30 minutes to send Barca into the semi-finals and seal a dramatic turnaround. Koeman spoke about Griezmann’s importance to the team after the match, as reported by Marca.
Antoine has always worked hard to change and have more luck. It is important to him. He is a very important player for the team. With his effectiveness we are more dangerous.
Griezmann is on a hot streak currently for the Catalan giants. The Frenchman now has seven goals and six assists in 10 appearances in 2021.
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Alba a ‘Key Player’ For Barcelona
Alba sealed Barcelona’s win by scoring the team’s fifth of the night to put the game finally out of Granada’s reach. It was a stunning finish by the defender who volleyed home after some neat passing.
Koeman praised the defender for his contribution and also added that he is hopeful he is handed a recall to the Spain national team by manager Luis Enrique as reward for his good form.
Jordi Alba has already proven to be a key player in our game. He has given many assists, he has scored goals … for me he is a vital player. Hopefully, it is not in my hands, the return to the national team happens.
Alba is one of several left-back options for Spain. Players such as Jose Luis Gaya and Sergio Reguilon are also in contention to be in Luis Enrique’s squad for this summer’s European Championship.
Koeman Happy with ‘Incredible’ Win
Koeman also spoke about his pride at his team’s comeback and the mentality they showed throughout the 120 minutes. Barca hit the woodwork three times in the game but refused to give up and eventually sealed a memorable victory.
I think we did well. It’s football, it’s incredible. We had many chances to finish the game before. We tried again and again, the team was huge. In the second half we scored at the end and in extra time it was, it was incredible.
The second half of extra time was incredible. I don’t know if Dest’s penalty was or not. It was a tremendous mental and physical job. The mentality of the team has been what I liked the most. We didn’t stop trying. I’m very happy.
We never lowered our arms. Despite having very bad luck by hitting the post, we have always believed in coming back and in the end we have succeeded”
I don’t think we can win everything this season. I’ve always believed in the team. Especially because of how we’re doing lately. We’ve improved a lot. Being in the semi-finals is a giant step.
Barca have little time to rest despite playing extra-time for the fourth time already in 2021. The Catalan giants play Real Betis and Alaves in La Liga before resuming their Champions League campaign on February 16 against French champions Paris Saint-Germain.