Barcelona striker Martin Braithwaite explained why he let Ousmane Dembele take the penalty he had won in Wednesday’s 3-0 win over Ferencvaros in the Champions League.
The visitors were leading 2-0 when Braithwaite ran through on goal and won a spot-kick after being fouled by Abraham Frimpong in the penalty area. Braithwaite had earlier made it 2-0 to Barca but was happy to hand the ball over to Dembele to take the kick.
The Frenchman made no mistake with his effort, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way to put Barca 3-0 up with just 27 minutes on the clock. Braithwaite spoke about his decision to let his team-mate take the kick after the match, as reported by UEFA.
Sometimes the goals flow and sometimes they don’t want to go in. I’ve played in the last four games and that’s so vital to me. So when Dembélé told me he was very keen to take the penalty I was happy to let him.
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Braithwaite Enjoying Barcelona Life
It was certainly an unselfish move by Braithwaite who is enjoying life in the Barcelona first team. The Denmark international has started his team’s last three games and impressed with four goals and an assist.
Braithwaite told Barca TV that he is having a good time at the Camp Nou after a tough start to the campaign. He explained, “Of course I’m happy. I’m just happy to get the chance and prove that I belong in the team. So I’m happy but most of all I’m happy for how the team’s been playing lately and we have to continue like this.”
The striker’s goal means he is likely to keep his place in the starting XI for Saturday’s La Liga clash with Cadiz. Álvaro Cervera’s side were promoted from the Segunda Division last season but have started the new campaign well and are a point and a place better off in the table than Barca ahead of the match.
Captain Dembele Thriving in Europe
Braithwaite is not the only Barcelona player enjoying himself currently. Dembele has returned to full fitness and made his 11th appearance of the season in Hungary.
The Frenchman’s strike also means he now has three goals and two assists in four Champions League games for Barcelona in 2020-21 which will offer hope he can rediscover his best form this season after an injury-ravaged spell.
Indeed Dembele even took over the captain’s armband in the second half. Midfielder Sergio Busquets led the team out but went off at half-time, leaving Dembele to captain the side after the break.
Coach Ronald Koeman took time out to praise Dembele after the match for another impressive display, as reported by Marca.
Dembélé is a great player. He’s very talented, he’s fast, he plays with both legs and he’s very effective. Now he’s training well and that shows because he’s very good physically. We hope it continues like this.
Dembele’s last La Liga start came in the defeat to Atletico Madrid but he will be hoping he’s done enough to keep his place for the trip to Cadiz. Koeman will have Lionel Messi and Philippe Coutinho available again at the weekend after deciding to rest the duo for Wednesday’s game at Ferencvaros with qualification to the knockout stages already assured.