French Football journalist Julien Laurens was convinced to see Griezmann and Messi to start upfront for Barcelona in Quique Setien’s debut.
In the Gab and Juls podcast, the journalist said: “I like Griezmann and Messi upfront together” and spoke of the excellence of Setien in managing his first game.
The Catalan giants were made to work hard by Granada and the breakthrough came from the Argentine, who finished off a wonderful passing moment. Prior to the goal, the visitors suffered a blow when defender German Sanchez was given the marching orders.
Taking advantage of that, the La Liga champions controlled the game despite failing to create clear-cut opportunities. They could have scored more with the possession they had, but the visitors kept them quiet for the majority of the time.
However, Laurens was also convinced to see a change in the new manager’s game plan as many believe Setien has brought back their tiki-taka style. The goal itself was a superb combination between Griezmann, Messi and Arturo Vidal.
Another interesting aspect of the game was the change in the formation, where the boss decided to go give Frenchman Samuel Umtiti a start. He was previously frozen under Ernesto Valverde and was on the brink of an exit away from Camp Nou.
The World Cup winner looked solid at the heart of the defence and his stats were impressive. In the game where the Catalan giants completed 1005 passes, Umtiti was successful 105 times out of the 112 passes he attempted. He also made 4 crucial interceptions and won 6 aerial duels.
On the other hand, Laurens was overwhelmed to see Riqui Puig get game time and suggested that he should start in every game.
Overall, Barcelona did a good job of handing Setien a win on his debut. And it is clear that, with Luis Suarez’s injury, Griezmann would start more often alongside Messi and they can work wonders for the team up front.