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Papers: Barcelona beat Athletic Club to go top; Now it’s Madrid’s turn

Barcelona strike first and now it’s Real Madrid’s turn to return the favour and continue the ever-lasting dance for the LaLiga title.

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

This morning, the papers are focusing on yesterday’s slim but incredibly important victory for the Catalans at the Camp Nou as Barcelona beat Athletic Club to go top of the table. Of course, they can only stay there if Real Madrid slip tonight.

Mundo Deportivo have gone with a headline that says ‘The Golden Goal‘ and have Lionel Messi and Ivan Rakitić in a celebratory embrace following the Croat breaking the deadlock and bringing the Azulgranas all three points.

They also praise all three of Ansu Fati, Riqui Puig and the goal-scorer, Rakitić, who gave Barça the necessary energy to turn the tides and win the game in the end.

Sport have gone down a rather similar route with the cover that says ‘They want this league‘, once again a reaction to the fact that Barcelona beat Athletic Club and are showing some signs of life after all.

Their choice of a cover photo is practically identical, unsurprisingly, and they do state Barcelona suffered for this victory but they succeed in putting the pressure on their eternal rivals with Rakitić scoring the winning goal and Puig and Fati giving some winds to their sails after coming on.

Over in the capital, Marca are, of course, focusing on Real Madrid, saying ‘Now it’s Madrid’s turn‘, suggesting Los Blancos have to strike back now that Barcelona have delivered the first blow again.

I’ve been a Barcelona fan for more than half of my life. What started as blind love is slowly turning into professional writing. Now, I get to write about Barca, analyse them, and voice my opinions on them across platforms. I’m happy to be a part of this big project.

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Report: Griezmann regrets joining Barcelona

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Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP

According to a report published by leading French sports outlet L’Equipe, Antoine Griezmann is going through arguably the worst periods in his career, and regrets joining Barcelona.

The Frenchman was initially touted to join Barcelona in the summer of 2018, but winning the Europa League trophy with Atletico Madrid followed by the World Cup with France few months later convinced him otherwise.

However, a year later, against all odds, the Barcelona board went ahead with the move regardless, bringing Griezmann to the club, despite him disrespecting the club a year ago by making a documentary to announce his decision to stay at Atleti. The move cost Barça a behemoth €120 million, and made Griezmann the second-highest paid player at the club in the process.

In his first season with Barcelona, Griezmann registered nine goals and four assists – the lowest tally of his senior career since the 2011/12 season when he ended with seven goals and four assists for Real Sociedad as a 20-year-old. For the most part, this looked like a direct consequence of Ernesto Valverde fielding him as a winger.

But since then Griezmann has received several opportunities to play in his preferred second striker/attacking midfield position and looks quite underconfident regardless. The game against Getafe serves as the prime example of this as the 29-year-old scuffed a 1v1 chance against David Soria.

As it stands, the chances of Griezmann featuring at all look minimal as was displayed by Ronald Koeman’s lineups in the previous two games, where the World Cup winner featured for a grand total of eight minutes. Thankfully, he is still 29, in his prime, and can easily walk into any side that plays with a setup that uses a player like Griezmann, namely Paris Saint Germain, Manchester United, Chelsea, among others, so Barcelona should not have too much trouble selling him in the near future if need be.

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