Spain: Messi and Griezmann see double, Barça recollates

Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann, two doubled and everything is better! The two superstars offered a new victory (4-0) at the renaissance FC Barcelona on Saturday in Granada for Matchday 18 of Liga, and allowed Barça to take back to the top of the standings.

The star duo shines strong: with an opportunistic goal (12th) and a perfectly dosed recovery (64th) the French world champion played better with his Argentinian captain, also double scorer, on a pass by Griezmann (35th) and on a millimeter direct free kick (43rd), three days after his double against Bilbao (3-2).

One year to the day after the start of the long Catalan debandade in Saudi Arabia in the Spanish Supercup, with the dismantling of Ernesto Valverde and the appointment of Quique Setién, Barça was reborn in 2021.

In the wake of its two stars, the Catalans completely extinguished the Andalusians, yet volunteers at the beginning, with a big opportunity saved by Marc-André ter Stegen in the 2nd minute… but who had to finish the match at ten after the exclusion of Jesus Vallejo (78th).

Messi, replaced by Martin Braithwaite in the 65th, became the top scorer in the Spanish championship with 11 goals in 17 games, and Griezmann put an end to a small disette that lasted for 8 matches in all competitions.

Barça now points to four small points from the leader Atlético Madrid, who saw his match against Bilbao on Saturday pushed back due to the historic snowstorm that is now falling on Madrid and a good part of the Iberian Peninsula (with three fewer matches), and two points from the eternal rival Real Madrid, who faces Osasuna in evening (21:00, 20:00 GMT).

This great success in Andalusia was the occasion to see Catalan midfielder Sergio Busquets sign his 600th match under the blaugrana jersey, inviting himself to the table of the Xavi (767), Messi (752) and Iniesta (674), the three other legends of the clubs to have passed this course.

On the French side, this gala victory witnessed the tenure of international Samuel Umtiti, reduced by injuries at the beginning of the season and then relegated to the bench by Ronald Koeman, who took advantage of the wound at the warm-up of central defender Ronald Araujo.

In the late afternoon, in the duel of contenders in the C1, Seville FC won 3-2 against Real Sociedad thanks to a triplet of Moroccan forecenter Youssef En-Nesyri (4th, 7th, 46th), after a completely crazy start of the game, with four goals in the first quarter of an hour.

By CCEiT (AFP)