Competition
  • Premier League
  • Serie A
Premier League
Serie A

Griezmann, Busquets and Ansu Fati put on a show

The weekend’s football in Spain was all looking rather boring, with a notable lack of goals, but things turned around in the final game with a tremendous match at the Camp Nou on Sunday evening between Barcelona and Betis. It was in marked contrast to the game just before it between Atlético and Leganés, which was a battle of the coaches and extremely tactical. You already know what that means: little space, few errors and difficulty for both sides to get into shooting positions. Joao Félix though managed to open up a gap, sucking in three players before passing to Vitolo, who finished well. A goal and don’t ask for any more. In all other senses, intensity, tactical geometry and collective discipline the game was flawless.

Superb match between Barcelona and Betis

In contrast to that game of coaches and a solitary goal was the match at the Camp Nou, a game of players and lots of goals. Messi, Luis Suárez and Dembélé were all missing from pitch, but watching in the stands (the first two with their children, the latter with his pals). Barcelona played well and attacked joyfully and with belief. Griezmann was the life and soul of the attack, scored two goals that turned the scoreboard around (after the second he showered himself with confetti, LeBron style) and set up another. But he was well accompanied by Carles Pérez and Rafinha… and the presence of Serio Busquets, who killed off a thousand Betis attacks.

Ansu Fati makes his debut

With the party in full swing, Valverde, who looked all too glum with the game at 0-1, decided to give the fans a gift: bringing on the young Ansu Fati, at just 16 years old. The frame of a boy with the talent of a fine footballer. A highly positive surprise, he produced several bits of skill in the few minutes he played that left us all impatient to see more. Dembélé had better get himself into gear, if he’s able to, because I fear that as of now nobody would miss him if he wasn’t there. All in all, a fine end to the weekend and a statement of intent from Barcelona who entirely put to bed the defeat in San Mamés. They’ll never get those points back, but they have recovered their reputation.