You can take things from any game, including that heavy beating Barcelona suffered on Saturday in Valencia. There are some positives. One of those was a figure shining more in other aspects than we expected from him when he signed. We’re talking about Antoine Griezmann.
The Frenchman performed really well defensively in the first 45 minutes against Levante. On the left wing he was seen covering for Nelson Semedo in the first half. The Portuguese defender got forward a lot and was one of the few players who can be halfway happy with their display. But Antoine was his ‘legal tutor’. On more than five occasions the former Atletico player was back in his own area in the first half.
Not just that, but the Frenchman was crucial in stopping Borja Mayoral in the 20th minute when he was poised to send Levante ahead. The Frenchman showed total sacrifice, something that seemed instinctive. Valverde appreciates that and it lets him give Semedo free reign to get forward - one such occasion resulting in a penalty.
Antoine was the only player in the first team squad who spoke to TV and radio in the mixed zone. Asked about his defensive sacrifice, he said: “That’s thanks to Cholo, it was him who taught me all that. I’m here to help the team, whether it be in defence or attack.”