Report: Barcelona 5-2 Real Betis

first_imgAntoine 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— 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— 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 morelast_img read more

Tuchel: Mbappe and Neymar must perform on their return

first_imgAfter seeing his Paris Saint-Germain side comfortably beat Real Madrid 3-0 in their Champions League opener, coach Thomas Tuchel has declared his returning stars will have to earn thier place in his team. Both Kylian Mbappe and Neymar were seen watching the game at the Parc de Princes from the stands on Wednesday with the Frenchman out injured and the Brazilian serving the first of his two-game suspension. With Edinson Cavani also out injured, Tuchel’s side impressed without their big-name players as Angel Di Maria haunted his former side with a brace before Thomas Meunier added a third in injury-time.  Article continues below Editors’ Picks 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 Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career It was a near perfect performance from the reigning Ligue 1 champions with their coach adamant his stars will have to match the performance of those that filled their void admirably against Real.  “I’m very happy with the whole team because it was really difficult, we had a lot of chances, but there were also some stages for Real where we suffered,” Tuchel told RMC Sport. “But we stayed structured, always blocked, tight, aggressive and compact, really, it was a complete performance.”Mbappe and Neymar saw the match, and they have to do what the others did on their return.  “That’s good, we are happy to have such a team, which was not always the case. We can make a good team match without our stars, and it’s absolutely necessary. I have to make tough decisions, but it’s good, the competition must be like that in a club like PSG.”  After personally sealing PSG’s win late in the game after a neat one-two with Juan Bernat, Meunier stressed how impressed he was with how his side performed as a team.  “My goal was the icing on the cake. I prefer to look at the collective benefit,” Meunier said.  “There was a very good team and despite the absence of our three stars, we played as a team. We were very good, like a real block, and offensively we had a lot of opportunities and not against any team, it was Real, even if they are still heating up. “We never made it easy and they had very few opportunities.”last_img read more