Barcelona continued their impressive start to 2021 with a 4-0 victory over Granada, making it three wins from three since the turn of the year to extend the club’s unbeaten run in all competitions to eight games.
Ronald Koeman has come under severe criticism this season for not getting the best out of his talented squad, but on Saturday Barcelona fans were treated to classic performances from some of the club’s biggest stars.
But who were the standout performers in the contest?
✔️ GOOD PERFORMANCE
With four goals and two assists in his last four games leading up to Saturday’s match, there were some suggestions that Lionel Messi was looking back to his best for Barcelona and tonight’s clash with Granada only confirmed it.
The Argentine genius put his hosts to the sword after just 35 minutes, when he latched on to a pass on the edge of the box and fired a curled shot into the top left corner of the goal. Four minutes later, he doubled his tally with an exceptional free-kick, which saw the Barcelona forward fire his shot underneath the defensive wall.
Messi looked back to his best and as such Barcelona looked back to their best.
❌ BAD PERFORMANCE
Jesus Vallejo: 5.4
Brought on at half time as an extra defender, Jesus Vallejo was supposed to help the hosts sure up their defence and keep the scoreline from getting embarrassing.
Instead, Vallejo just caused even more havoc for Diego Martinez and his troubled side when the defender’s attempts to stop a Barcelona counter attack resulted in an ugly challenge and a straight red card from the referee.
⭐ STAR MAN
Antoine Griezmann: 9.6
However, over the course of the 90 minutes the French forward put on a truly remarkable performance and showed exactly what kind of player Barcelona hoped they had signed once upon a time.
Griezmann first struck after just 12 minutes when he got on the end of a rebound to rifle the ball inside the right post to make it 1-0. Then, 23 minutes later, he picked out Messi to double his side’s lead.
The French then stepped up again just after the hour mark when Ousmane Dembele unleashed the forward inside the Granada box with a superb, lofted pass to allow Griezmann to finish with a brilliant shot into the bottom left corner.