Antoine Griezmann scored his first Barcelona goals as Ernesto Valverde’s side recorded a thumping 5-2 LaLiga win over Real Betis on Sunday.Griezmann endured a disappointing debut in last weekend’s surprise 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao, but the €120million signing from Atletico Madrid – leading the line in the absence of Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez – announced himself to the Camp Nou faithful in style.Nabil Fekir had given Betis a shock 15th-minute lead before Griezmann turned the game on its head either side of half-time with two fine finishes. Article continues below Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Barcelona did not look back after his second, adding further goals through Carles Perez – his first for the club – Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal before Loren Moron’s wonderful late consolation for the visitors.Full-Time: 5-2 #ForcaBarca pic.twitter.com/Iac8UVvTZU— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 25, 2019Barca started sharply, going close through Sergi Roberto and Griezmann, but it was the visitors who struck first.The hosts lost possession cheaply in the middle of the pitch, allowing Moron to feed the marauding Fekir. The former Lyon man pulled away from Alba and dispatched a clinical left-footed strike from 16 yards into Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s bottom-left corner.Barca came agonisingly close to restoring parity 10 minutes before the interval when Rafinha’s close-range effort was diverted narrowly past the post by the outstretched leg of Sidnei.They did pull level in the 41st minute, however, Griezmann stretching superbly to meet Roberto’s clipped ball over the top and volley past Dani Martin.Roberto was the provider again for Griezmann’s second in the 50th minute, the France international whipping a glorious left-footed strike past Martin from 18 yards.Barcelona were well and truly in the mood and scored a third six minutes later when Perez skipped past his marker and coolly slotted past a helpless Martin from just inside the area.The Betis goalkeeper picked the ball out his net again just four minutes later, this time from Alba. The left-back surged into the penalty area, collected Sergio Busquets’ pass and slid past the beleaguered Martin.Barca eased off in the final 30 minutes, but they did add a fifth in the 77th minute when substitute Vidal expertly steered into the roof of the net from 10 yards after being picked out by Griezmann.The final goal was one from Betis, with Moron firing a wonderful strike into the top corner from 25 yards in the 79th minute, although it did little to detract from a fine Barca win.What does it mean? Barca’s attack in rude healthIt was not all plain sailing for Barcelona – they were badly exposed at the back for Fekir’s opener – but there was enough on show to suggest the Catalan giants will once again be the side to beat in LaLiga this season. The thought of Messi and Suarez joining Griezmann in attack is sure to give defenders across Spain sleepless nights.Griezmann introduces himself in styleThe World Cup winner took full advantage of Messi and Suarez’s absences, leading the line superbly and opening his account with two typically efficient finishes.2 – @AntoGriezmann is the first Barcelona’s player to score a brace in his first #LaLiga game at Camp Nou in this century. Reference pic.twitter.com/C38fS6hWJU— OptaJose (@OptaJose) August 25, 2019Pique endures landmark game to forgetAcross 500 games for Barcelona, Gerard Pique has firmly cemented his place as one of this generation’s finest defenders. Little of his legendary composure was on show against Betis, however, with the 32-year-old looking surprisingly shaky against Fekir and friends.What’s next?Barca will hope to make it back-to-back wins when they visit Osasuna on Saturday, while Betis host Leganes on the same day. read more
The 16 New Resorts Across Seven Brands in 10 Countries and Territories Will Provide Travelers with More Options when Seeking Island, Nature or Urban Escapes Marriott International is on track to open 16 new resorts in Asia Pacific across seven brands in 10 countries and territories this year, giving travelers more choices when booking holidays, business events or special occasions. Marriott currently has 130 upper-upscale and luxury resorts in the Asia Pacific region in countries including China, Malaysia, Vietnam and Thailand. The new hotels range from tranquil resorts such as the beachfront Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, which is the company’s first hotel in Sri Lanka, to The Ritz-Carlton Haikou, which presents travelers with a new experience as Ritz-Carlton’s first golf resort in China. “This is an exciting year for Marriott International in the Asia Pacific region as we deliver innovative, new ways to cater to today’s and tomorrow’s travelers,” said Peggy Fang Roe, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for Asia Pacific. “Our new openings demonstrate our promise to be where our guests want to be and provide them with everything they need to relax, recharge or celebrate a special milestone.” These new properties will benefit from growing demand from Chinese travelers, who today are the world’s No. 1 source of outbound travelers. China National Tourism Administration estimates China’s travelers will take 700 million trips over the next five years. As incomes rise, China’s middle class is looking for higher quality products and travel experiences – such as stays at Marriott’s newest resorts. Earlier this year, Marriott launched a joint venture with Alibaba to help capture this growth by redefining their travel experience. “Marriott International is proud to offer picture-perfect paradises for every occasion,” said Paul Foskey, Chief Development Officer, Marriott International Asia Pacific. “We continue to cater to its ever-expanding customer base by introducing new brands, exciting destinations and unique experiences to its resorts portfolio.” Here are the new hotels the company is opening across the region: Explore Marriott’s Fastest Growing Destination – ChinaThe company marked several milestone openings in China this year including The Ritz-Carlton, Haikou, the brand’s first golf resort in China; the Shanhaitian Resort Sanya, Autograph Collection, the brand’s first property in China; the Element Chongli, which brings its eco-conscious concept and extended-stay brand to the mountainous Taiwoo Ski Resort of Zhangjiakou, co-host of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics; and the Westin brand’s first hot spring resort in Taiwan, The Westin Yilan Resort set amidst stunning coastline scenery. Discover New Properties and South East Asian Charm Marriott International debuted several new properties across South East Asia, including The Ritz-Carlton, Langkawi, a tranquil oceanfront resort on the Andaman Sea in Malaysia surrounded by an ancient jungle and sheltered by trees. The resort is designed to incorporate influences from local culture to create a private retreat with an authentic touch. A luxurious spa is home to five cocoon-shaped pavilions that float above the sea and features rituals inspired by indigenous healing and beauty ceremonies. The Ritz Kids children‘s program brings an exciting array of culturally and environmentally focused experiences and activities for families including a Langkawi Treasure Hunt and Nature Discovery. The award winning JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay Resort & Spa, which opened earlier this year, allows travelers to discover one of Southern Vietnam’s newest resort destinations. Designed by Bill Bensley, the whimsical resort reflects the architect’s vision of a fictional ‘Lamarck University’ with venues that represent school facilities such as ‘Chemistry’, the bar where guests can order inventive cocktails in test tubes. In Thailand, the newly opened Renaissance Pattaya Resort & Spa is a tranquil beachfront retreat with playful touches while The Ritz-Carlton, Koh Samui allows guests to focus on revitalizing their mind, body and spirit through design and amenities. The hotel’s design reflects a modern interpretation of the island’s environment with natural materials of ceramic and coconut. Its spa offers holistic wellness treatments, and guests can join fish-feeding experiences in a temperate Swim Reef nestled within the resort. Scheduled to open in November, the Renaissance Bali Ulutwatu Resort & Spa in Indonesia will appeal to families spanning generations. It will offer three pool experiences, a playful beach club with activities for kids of all ages and a selection of restaurants to delight even the pickiest eaters. Broaden Your Horizons in Japan and KoreaThis year, Marriott has expanded its presence in Japan’s scenic destinations with the openings of five Marriott resorts. Guests can explore the lake area at the base of Mount Fuji when staying at the Fuji Marriott Hotel Lake Yamanaka and admire the white sand beaches and mountain trails at the Nanki Shirahama Marriott Hotel near Osaka in Western Japan. Located close to Kyoto, Lake Biwa Marriott Hotel showcases the beauty of Japan’s largest lake and natural ‘onsen’ hot springs district, and Izu Marriott Hotel Shuzenji boasts a Pacific coastline location set in the densely wooded hills of the Izu Peninsula. Apart from authentic and distinctive cultural experiences, the five resorts feature integrated digital-savvy online platforms, allowing travelers to switch off yet stay connected. Later this year, the Jeju Shinhwa World Marriott Resort & Spa is schedule to open and mark the brand’s first property in South Korea. Located on Jeju island and part of the highly anticipated mix-use resort—Jeju Shinhwa World, which will include a casino and amusement park – guests will have access to premium leisure and world-class entertainment facilities. Celebrate with a Getaway in the Exotic Destinations of Fiji and Sri LankaMarriott International opened two properties in Fiji and Sri Lanka in 2017. The Fiji Marriott Resort Momi Baymarked the brand’s debut in Fiji. An innovative resort, it features the first overwater ‘bure’ bungalows on Fiji mainland which dot an idyllic manmade lagoon. Another exciting new resort, the Weligama Bay Marriott Resort & Spa, marked Marriott International’s entry into Sri Lanka. The beachfront resort, which features a modern take on authentic Sri Lankan décor, occupies a prime location near famous attractions such as the Galle Fort and blue whale watching hubs. Find out more about these amazing new resorts and more to come at Marriott.com and SPG Hotels. About Marriott InternationalMarriott International, Inc. (NASDAQ: MAR) is based in Bethesda, Maryland, USA, and encompasses a portfolio of more than 6,200 properties in 30 leading hotel brands spanning 125 countries and territories. Marriott operates and franchises hotels and licenses vacation ownership resorts all around the world. The company also operates award-winning loyalty programs: Marriott Rewards®, which includes The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®, and Starwood Preferred Guest®. For more information, please visit our website at www.marriott.com, and for the latest company news, visit www.marriottnewscenter.com. In addition, connect with us on Facebook and @MarriottIntl on Twitter and Instagram.