Antoine Griezmann hasn’t had the monster season some expected of him. His scoring stats are respectable, but many were hoping that, as one of the world’s best players, Griezmann would absolutely light it up every week.
Still, there’s one thing the Frenchman has been indisputably great at: opening the scoring for Barça. He’s done so 10 times already this season, remarkable as he’s scored 14 goals total.
He did it again against Napoli, this time while Barcelona were in danger of losing the first leg of their UEFA Champions League tie. He adjusted well to Nélson Semedo’s ground cross and finished neatly to pull Barcelona level 1-1 going into the second leg.
Griezmann had developed a reputation for losing finals in past years, so “clutch” was not what people associated him with. But he’s since scored and won in the FIFA World Cup final and perhaps he’s exactly what Barça need at this moment. Well, he better be, anyway, since apart from Lionel Messi, Barcelona do not have any fit first-team forwards who are eligible for the Champions League.
The small amount of help Messi has received in the Champions League, especially away from home, is insane. In fact, Griezmann is the first Barcelona player, apart from Messi, to score a knockout stage Champions League away goal since Neymar in 2015. That is ridiculous.
Griezmann still seems unsure of his role at Barcelona, but he has a lot of qualities. He presses and defends a lot, he can score goals, and he passes well. Still, the team undeniably is missing a pacy winger (the injury to Ousmane Dembélé is highly unfortunate) and Griezmann isn’t it. However, he’s so good, even if he’s out of position, he has a lot to offer.
We will see if it’s enough.