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Griezmann already emulates Messi

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Pin Griezmann already emulates Messi. AFP
Griezmann already emulates Messi. AFP

Griezmann already emulates Messi

BeSoccer by BeSoccer @besoccer_com - 0 6,385

Antoine Griezmann has always been in the spotlight since his expensive signing. Now he is being watched even more closely due to Luis Suarez's injury, which leaves him as the go-to '9' for Barcelona. But he has never ceased to be indispensable. Three factors analysed by ProFootballDB make this clear. But one shines through: seven of his 11 goals have been used to put his team ahead; and only one has had a sterile effect on the score.

Any player who's already made a name for himself will have a lot of pressure when coming to Barcelona. Add to that the fact that Messi eclipses everything, and the challenge is twice as hard. There are several examples, but the most notable is is Neymar, who had it all in Barcelona but couldn't bear to live in Messi's shadow for any longer. Antoine Griezmann, for now, seems to be handling it well. 

Despite the general uneasy feeling and the shy numbers, he has proven key in several matches. His performances haven't left any stunning dribbles, and he's looked very lost in several clashes. But the ProFootballDB lab has shown that he is actually getting some of the credit Leo Messi is used to getting. 

Just look at his performance against Ibiza last Wednesday. Beyond the fact that the rival was not expected to be difficult to beat (despite a very spirited start and their 72-minute lead), Griezmann was the difference-maker in a match that Barcelona could not afford to lose.

Two of his one-on-ones with the rival ended up as goals. When his team looked more lost than ever and the match looked set to go into extra-time is team, his left foot appeared to make up for the below-average performance. The Frenchman led and completed the comeback. It was the first game of the season that Barça would have lost had it not been for Griezmann. Sound familiar? That's because that's usually Lionel Messi's role. 

His two goals also meant he has now scored in the four competitions Barcelona takes part in, something Messi has not managed to do this season.  Two in the Copa del Rey, one in the SuperCup semi-finals, seven in laLiga and one in the Champions League.  

There is a third fact, the most important of all, which also serves to justify those who have said Griezmann is more important than his at times shy performances show: seven of his ten goals have allowed, at the time of its achievement, put Barcelona ahead in the match.

In addition, other three served as equalisers (the 1-1 before the Betis, the Real Sociedad and Ibiza), that is to say, only one, against Dortmund in the Champions, was "useless" (the game ended 3-0). 

For some time now, he has been specializing in being, even with Messi on the field, the scorer of openers for Barcelona. And now, the numbers back him up: he has been a determinant factor for Barcelona this season. 

 

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