Antoine Griezmann had a message for Barcelona match-winner Riqui Puig after the youngster scored the decisive penalty to send the Catalan giants into the final of the Spanish Super Cup.
Barca beat Real Sociedad 3-2 in a dramatic shootout after the game had ended 1-1 after extra-time. Griezmann did take a penalty but was guilty of an awful spot-kick, blazing an effort high over the crossbar.
Fortunately, it did not prove a costly miss as Puig netted from Barcelona’s fifth penalty of the night to secure the win. Griezmann then had a message of thanks for his team-mate after the final whistle.
📹 | Griezmann to Riqui Puig after he missed the penalty: 'Thanks Riqui, I owe you dinner' https://t.co/kT0Jc9yBFS
— BarçaTimes (@BarcaTimes) January 13, 2021
Barcelona now play in Sunday’s final against either Real Madrid or Athletic. The two La Liga rivals meet in the second semi-final on Thursday at La Rosaleda Stadium in Malaga.
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Griezmann Reacts to Win
Griezmann may have missed his penalty but he did grab an assist during the game. The World Cup winner teed up Frenkie de Jong for a superb header which put Barcelona ahead in the match.
However, the Catalan giants couldn’t hold on to their lead. De Jong conceded a penalty for handball early in the second half, allowing Mikel Oyarzabal to equalize from the spot for Real Sociedad.
Neither team could find another goal despite the game going into extra-time which meant the game went to penalties. De Jong missed Barcelona’s first penalty, while Griezmann was also off-target but didn’t seem too downbeat after the game.
Big Team !!! Barcaaaaaaaaaaaa !!!! pic.twitter.com/IVoGhtsdIN
— Antoine Griezmann (@AntoGriezmann) January 14, 2021
Miralem Pjanic and Ousmane Dembele went on to net their spot-kicks, while goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two great saves to put Barcelona on the brink of victory. Puig then converted his penalty to win the match with what was his first goal for the club.
Puig Not Giving Up on First-Team Hopes
Puig’s penalty is a great moment for the youngster, particularly as he has struggled for game time under Ronald Koeman and is yet to start a match for Barcelona in 2020-21.
The youngster has been advised to go out on loan this season in order to play regularly but has insisted he wants to stay and succeed at Barcelona and reiterated that desire once again after his penalty heroics.
Riqui Puig: I have never lost my smile. I am a happy kid. Even if I am not playing, I have my family, my health. If Ronald gives me minutes, I will try & take my chance; if not, keep working hard. I am never going to throw in the towel.
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) January 13, 2021
Puig will be hoping for more minutes in Sunday’s final, although it’s still difficult to see him starting the match. The game offers Barcelona the chance to pick up their first silverware of the season.
Yet Puig could finally earn a place in the starting XI for Barca’s third-round Copa del Rey tie against Cornella on January 21. Koeman will be expected to make big changes to his team for the trip to the third-tier side which could offer Puig a golden chance to shine.
Barca will be huge favorites for victory in the Copa del Rey match, not least because their reserve team beat Cornella 1-0 in the Segunda Division in December. Yet it’s worth noting the Catalan team knocked out La Liga leaders Atletico Madrid in the second round.