Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong combined to deliver a superb goal for Barcelona in Wednesday’s Spanish Super Cup semi-final against Real Sociedad in Cordoba.
The Catalan giants were without captain Lionel Messi due to injury but still took the lead in the match just before half-time. Griezmann continued his rich vein of form with a great cross for De Jong to send a brilliant header past goalkeeper Alex Remiro.
Barcelona captured just how difficult a chance it was for the Dutchman to convert.
De Jong’s goal ensured Barca had the lead at the break after a hard-fought opening 45 minutes between the two La Liga rivals.
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Frenkie’s Flying for Barcelona
De Jong’s goal is his third of the season and the second time he’s scored against Real Sociedad in 2020-21. The Dutchman grabbed the winner when the two sides met at the Camp Nou in December in La Liga. Barca took all three points with a 2-1 victory despite going behind to Willian Jose’s opener.
The midfielder now has three goals and two assists in his last nine matches after being asked to play in a more advanced role for Barcelona. De Jong spoke about his new position ahead of the game at a pre-match press conference.
I think we are doing well I feel good too. We have been improving as a team in recent games. I hope tomorrow we do well also. I think we are more fluid in our play and we are gaining more confidence.
I feel good right now personally and I think we are improving as a team compared to the beginning of the season. We’ve won the first games of the new year. I think we are doing well. I am playing a bit more different in these last games. I play later, more attacking and I feel more comfortable.
The tactical tweak appears to be paying dividends and the Netherlands international looks to be finally starting to thrive under Ronald Koeman. The two know each other well having worked together previously with the Netherlands national team.
Indeed De Jong appears to be finally finding the sort of form that saw him shine for former club Ajax before he sealed his move to the Camp Nou in the summer of 2019.
Another Assist For Griezmann
It’s also worth noting that the goal came from another Griezmann assist. The Frenchman now has five for the season and moves level with Jordi Alba on most assists for the Catalan giants in 2020-21.
The strike also seemed to go down well with Messi who was watching the game from the stands.
Griezmann now has three assists and two goals in his last three outings for Barcelona and appears to be back in form after a run of eight games without a goal.
The Frenchman’s improved performances come at a good time with Messi currently sidelined, although it’s not clear yet how long the Barcelona captain will be out of action for after missing the game with a hamstring injury.