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17-Jun-2020, 07:07 am

'Griezmann does a commendable job'– Setien says forward remains an 'important player' for Barca


Antoine Griezmann Barcelona

Quique Setien praised Antoine Griezmann for doing a "commendable job" in Barcelona's 2-0 La Liga victory over Leganes on Tuesday.

A goal from Ansu Fati opened the scoring for Barca, with the young Spanish star shining throughout a strong performance.

Lionel Messi's second-half penalty, meanwhile, saw Barca seal the victory while restoringtheir five-point lead atop the table.

Griezmann, however,again largely struggled, continuing a run of concerning performances dating back to before the coronavirus-caused break.

The forward had an effort ruled out for offside and he has just eight goals in 28 La Liga games in his first season since making the move to Barcelona from Atletico Madrid.

In total, Griezmann has scored 14 goals across 38 matches, leaving him tied with the injury-plagued Luis Suarez for second in goals at the club behind Messi.

It's a drop-off from Griezmann's efforts with Atleti, with the forward having netted at least 20 goals in each of his five seasons with Diego Simeone's side.

But Setien praised the France international for his efforts, telling Movistar: "Griezmann is a boy who does a commendable job.

"He is an extremely important player."

Barcelona are yet to hit top form on the return from the coronavirus-enforced break, but managed to overcome La Liga's bottom side.

Setien said he expected a challenge unless his side found an early goal, with Fati's opener coming three minutes before half-time.

"I knew the game was going to be difficult. Unless you have the fortune of getting it right at the beginning, which opens the game, it will be complicated. It has been so," he said.

"We started very well, but then we lost some balls and gave them life. It happened to us in the cup match in January. They could have scored, then we have already controlled the last 20 minutes.

"They close very well and defend very well. It is not easy to find spaces."

Barcelona's busy run of fixtures continues with a trip to Sevilla on Friday, marking the club's third game back from the break.

After that, Messi, Griezmann and co. will jump right back into action four days later for a home match against Athletic Bilbao.


Source : goal.com

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