Antoine Griezmann: How did Barcelona’s new signing perform in debut against Chelsea?

Antoine Griezmann made his debut for Barcelona in their pre-season friendly with Chelsea and already looks a hit.

The French forward joined in a controversial £108million deal from Atletico Madrid after a prolific five-season stay in the Spanish capital.

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Barcelona’s French forward Antoine Griezmann made his debut against Chelsea following his huge transfer
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After 133 goals in just 257 games the time was right for the 29-year-old to try his luck alongside Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.

And why not? His addition could finally get the Blaugrauna back into the Champions League final and end their four-year absence from the European showpiece event.

Where hit will fit in to Ernesto Valverde’s has been pondered by many with the indispensable Messi, the lethal Suarez and the talented Ousmane Dembele around him.

But how did he get on in his debut 45 minutes for Barcelona? Find out below.

Positioning

For the majority of the first half, Griezmann was milling around Andreas Christensen when without the ball but was quick to move wide and drop deep when it was required.

The left-footer moved to the right, looking to dart in behind when Jordi Alba had the ball, while he often drifted towards Dembele too, playing delicate one-touch passes with his compatriot as they looked to break through the Chelsea lines.

Passing

Griezmann’s several short passes around the edge of the area were neat and very much in keeping with a Barcelona player.

Rarely did he hold onto the ball and quickly shifted the angle of play when dropping deeper often using Riqui Puig as his pivot.

One lovely ball out left to Alba drew a gasp from the excitable crowd in Japan.

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Griezmann battles with ex-Barcelona winger Pedro
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Shooting

Ultimately, Griezmann will get judged on his goal contributions, hopefully taking some of the burden from Messi and Suarez.

He found himself with a couple of chances and was dangerous overall.

One shot from the edge of the area came after some neat touches to beat his man but his shot but he also showed a slight lack of composure late in the half when he thrashed a chance well wide from a position wide in the penalty area.

This can, though, be explained away by it being his last shot before being substituted at the break and not representative of something he would do in a competitive fixture.

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Griezmann looks to run in behind Christensen during the first halfbarce
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Conclusion – 6/10

Griezmann is already looking like he’ll be a big success when he gets back to the Camp Nou.

His style suited his team-mates superbly and his link-up play will definitely have fans begging to see more of the Frenchman in their red and blue checks.

He already looks like he might bring a little bit extra from compatriot Dembele, which would be welcomed, and his ability to bring the full-backs into play with his passing range is more than helpful.

And while he didn’t score against Chelsea, his overall work rate was impressive particularly in the warm conditions in Japan.

 

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