Antoine Griezmann scored a ferocious volley for Barcelona on Sunday to make it 2-0 to the hosts against Osasuna in La Liga at the Camp Nou.
The Frenchman, who has come in for plenty of criticism this season, silenced his doubters with a rasping strike after a well-worked team move.
The goal means that after a slow start to the season for Barcelona Griezmann now has four goals and an assist in his last six outings in all competitions.
Barcelona had opened the scoring on 29 minutes when Martin Braithwaite bundled the ball home from close range for his third goal in two matches for the Catalan giants.
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Koeman Names Attacking Team
Manager Ronald Koeman named an attacking team for Sunday’s match. Braithwaite kept his place in the starting XI after a double in midweek against Dynamo Kiev, while captain Lionel Messi returned after being rested for the Champions League match.
Philippe Coutinho, Pedri, and Griezmann were also in from the start. In defense 21-year-old Oscar Mingueza made his first La Liga start in place of the injured Gerard Pique.
Sergino Dest also shrugged off a muscular issue to take his place in the starting XI, with Jordi Alba featuring on the opposite side of the defense. Clement Lenglet, Frenkie de Jong, and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen completed the line-up.
Barcelona Impress in First Half
Koeman’s attacking selection seemed to pay off with Barcelona impressing in the first half and carving out plenty of chances against Jagoba Arrasate’s side who won 2-1 with 10 men on their last visit to the Camp Nou in July.
Coutinho had the best chance of the opening stages after some superb footwork from Griezmann. The Brazilian found himself on the end of a flowing attacking move but saw his effort cleared off the goalline by Unai Garcia.
Griezmann also forced goalkeeper Sergio Herrera into a block with an effort from distance in a bright performance from the World Cup winner. The chances continued to come for Barca but when the goal finally did arrive it was as scruffy as they come.
Yet Braithwaite won’t care after netting for the second match in a row for Barcelona and justifying Koeman’s faith in keeping him in the starting XI. The Denmark international has struggled for minutes in the early weeks of the campaign but his goals will certainly help his cause.
Griezmann’s performance will also offer plenty of reasons for optimism. The Frenchman also set up Coutinho for Barcelona’s third after the break. Griezmann started the move by winning back possession and finished off by laying the ball back to Coutinho to net from close range.