Koeman explains why Griezmann was an unused substitute in Barcelona win at Sevilla

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The Frenchman played no part in the Blaugrana’s 2-0 victory at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan over the weekend

Ronaldo Koeman has explained why Antoine Griezmann stayed on the bench throughout Barcelona’s win at Sevilla.

Barca moved up to second in the Liga standings after picking up a 2-0 away win on Saturday, with Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi grabbing the goals for the visitors.

Griezmann didn’t see a single minute of the action at Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan as Koeman opted to keep the Frenchman on the bench, which he claims was a purely tactical decision.

What was said?

The Barca boss told his post-match press conference: “There is no message for Griezmann. We decided to change the system to have depth in the team and that is why we put Dembele up front.

“With his replacement, we needed someone faster than Antoine.”

How has Griezmann performed for Barca this season?

Griezmann has led the line for Barcelona throughout the 2020-21 campaign, which has so far been his best individual season since joining the club from Atletico Madrid in 2019.

The World Cup winner is only three goals away from his final tally of 15 goals from last term, after 35 games in all competitions, and he also has 10 assists to his name – six more than he managed in the whole of 2019-20.

The bigger picture

Dembele offers Koeman a different option in the final third, but there is still room for the Dutch coach to fit in Griezmann between now and the end of the season.

The two men have already played either side of Messi in a front three, with Griezmann deployed on the left and Dembele on the right, as Koeman has previously favoured a 4-3-3 formation.

The Barca boss tried a 3-1-4-2 system against Sevilla which proved to be a masterstroke, but he could revert to his preferred set-up when the two teams meet again in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

Further reading

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