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Barcelona 5-2 Betis

Valverde praises Griezmann after Barcelona beat Betis

Antoine Griezmann's performance for Barcelona against Real Betis pleased coach Ernesto Valverde.

It was an important day for him – Valverde hails Griezmann after brace

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde praised Antoine Griezmann for stepping up in a LaLiga win over Real Betis on Sunday.

Griezmann scored his first goals for Barca with a brace in a 5-2 victory over Betis at Camp Nou.

Griezmann leads Barcelona to fine win

With Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele sidelined due to injuries, the forward led the club to their first win of the LaLiga campaign.

Valverde hailed Griezmann, who also had an assist, for delivering when Barca needed.

"I have to recognise that it was an important day for him due to the injuries we had. He reacted perfectly," he told a news conference.

"He dropped into the midfield to help and he made an impact. We know that if attacking players track back, we have a better chance of winning."

Messi has been working his way back from a calf injury, but the superstar forward missed the meeting with Betis.

Valverde was unwilling to risk the 32-year-old and said: "There wasn't a positive feeling. He hasn't had a relapse of the injury.

"We already said that we wouldn't rush any player. What we wanted to avoid was a relapse."