That’s what we’ve been waiting for.
It’s taken a while but Antoine Griezmann’s performance against a stubborn Osasuna side was exactly what he needed.
He showed character, a solid work ethic and an eye for goal, and his general all-round play, for once, couldn’t be faulted.
Is it too little, too late?
With the transfer window just a few weeks away, the Frenchman could still fetch a pretty penny in the market and, injuries permitting, Barca certainly have the players to cover for his absence in the short term at the very least.
Maybe this was a clarion call of sorts to culers and the Barca hierarchy. ‘I’m still here.’
That volley was absolutely sublime, but will be overshadowed on the day by Leo Messi’s simple but highly effective tribute to Diego Maradona.
Messi himself, whilst not really hitting the heights he is capable of at times, probably played his best game of the season so far.
Enjoying playing in the pockets, the diminutive Argentinian picked those of Osasuna’s defence at every possible opportunity.
He was afforded the chance to do so thanks to some highly intelligent centre-forward play from Martin Braithwaite.
The Dane still finds himself much maligned by a section of the Barcelona fan base, but he can do no more than make life difficult for Ronald Koeman when he plays.
A scrappy goal is a goal nonetheless, and he gives the Catalans an edge and a purpose in attack. If you get the chance to watch the highlights back, do nothing other than track Braithwaite’s movement.
That should settle the argument that the striker is only at the Camp Nou to make up the numbers. He needs only to add more goals to his Barca CV at this point in truth.
Although the trio may have appeared to have been a surprise pick from Koeman, they all dovetailed nicely and worked well together.
By having Braithwaite as the natural spearhead and Griezmann in the areas that he normally loves to roam, Barça looked much more threatening.
It not only opened up the channels for Messi to find space, but allowed the late runners to come virtually unchallenged.
Four goals on this occasion, and the truth is it could’ve been six or seven.
If there’s one sour note to take away from the experience other than Clement Lenglet’s wretched ankle injury, it’s that Philippe Coutinho was still a shadow of the player we know he can be.
With Ousmane Dembele deserving of a start, perhaps the Brazilian will be the fall guy in the long run.
However, now’s not the time to wallow. Great performance, goals galore and only three points behind Real Madrid with a game in hand.
We’d have all taken that before the weekend.