Barcelona new signing Antoine Griezmann scored his first goals as the champions came from behind to thrash Real Betis 5-2 at Camp Nou on Sunday.
Ernesto Valverde’s side had lost their LaLiga opener to Athletic Club nine days ago and were without Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele for this one because of injuries.
They had lost this fixture 4-3 to Betis last season and despite dominating the first half, they found themselves behind against the run of play when Loren Moron spotted a run from Nabil Fekir and the France midfielder slotted a fine finish into the corner from an angle.
Barca dipped slightly after that, but backed by their vocal fans, the Catalans continued to attack and Griezmann levelled four minutes before the break as he latched onto a fine ball by Sergi Roberto and hit a volley past Dani Martin, who perhaps should have done better.
Griezmann then fired Barca ahead in spectacular style early in the second half when he bent a brilliant curler past Martin with his left foot from the corner of the area and celebrated with his arms aloft in front of the home fans.
Young striker Carles Perez then picked his spot to send a low shot past Martin from the edge of the box after 56 minutes and the match effectively ended as a contest as Jordi Alba made it 4-1 on the hour when he ran onto a Busquets pass and hit a low effort inside the goalkeeper’s left-hand post.
Substitute Arturo Vidal thumped in a fifth with 12 minutes left and although Loren pulled one back with a fierce drive from outside the box at the other end, Valverde’s side were in full control.
There was also a debut for 16-year-old Guinea-Bissau-born forward Ansu Fati and he showed glimpses of his talent in the final minutes as Barca impressed in the absence of Messi and Suarez to show that they remain the team to beat in La Liga this season.
Source: Evening Standard