Antoine Griezmann’s fine run of goalscoring form continued on Wednesday, as the Frenchman netted the opener for Barcelona against Ferencvaros in the Champions League.
The Frenchman finished a neat team move with a brilliant flicked finish that went through the goalkeeper’s legs to make it 1-0 to the visitors after just 14 minutes at the Puskás Aréna in Budapest.
Griezmann has now scored in three consecutive games for Barcelona and has five in his last seven outings in all competitions for the Catalan giants. The World Cup winner had come in for criticism after a slow start to the 2020-21 campaign but is finally finding some form.
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Koeman Shuffles His Pack
Manager Ronald Koeman shuffled his pack once again for Wednesday’s match with his team already safely into the knockout stages. Lionel Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen, and Philippe Coutinho were all left at home, while midfielders Pedri and Frenkie de Jong started on the bench.
Griezmann was included in Koeman’s starting XI and didn’t need long to break the deadlock. The France international was then involved in Barcelona’s second of the night, as Martin Braithwaite continued his run vein of form with the visitors’ second.
Ousmane Dembele went past Endre Botka down the left flank and then delivered the ball into the penalty area for Braithwaite to steer home from close range.
Braithwaite has certainly taken his opportunities in the first team. The Denmark international was largely overlooked by Koeman at the start of the campaign but now has four goals in three starts for the Catalan giants.
The striker also won a penalty for Barcelona after being brought down in the box by Abraham Frimpong on 26 minutes. Ousmane Dembele stepped up to take the kick and sent the goalkeeper the wrong way to make it 3-0 with less than half an hour played.
Barcelona Thriving in Champions League
Koeman’s Barcelona certainly seem to be thriving in this season’s Champions League tournament so far. The Catalan giants came into the match on the back of four straight wins that has put them on top of Group G with maximum points.
The Catalan giants are now in a strong position to finish in top spot which should mean a more favorable draw in the Round of 16. Barcelona finish their campaign on Tuesday away at the Camp Nou.
The Serie A champions should provide a stiff test but will be wary of Barca’s incredible home record in Europe’s top competition. The Catalan giants have not lost at the Camp Nou since all the way back in 2013.
The two teams met earlier in the group in Turin with Barcelona running out 2-0 winners thanks to goals from Ousmane Dembele and Messi. The Barca captain has been rested for his team’s last two Champions League outings but should face Juve.
Koeman said in his pre-match press conference on Tuesday that the game against Ferencvaros was his last chance to rest Messi, suggesting the captain will be in the squad for their final group match against the Italian champions.