Antoine Griezmann Happy to ‘Suffer’ for Barcelona & Discusses Relationship With Lionel Messi

?Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann has praised the Spanish champions for their willingness ‘to suffer’ during their 2-1 victory over Getafe, as the Catalan giants look to defend their La Liga title this season.

Griezmann opened the scoring for La Blaugrana in the first half on Saturday afternoon, and a second from Sergi Roberto was enough to put the game out of Getafe’s reach, although the visitors did pull one back in the second half. 

Antoine Griezmann

And speaking after the victory, the 28-year-old confessed that he and his teammates found it tough against their opponents, but that ‘it is good to suffer’ for three points, as reported by ?Sport. 

“We know that Getafe is a difficult team to play because they press very well,” he said. “We tried to keep calm and tried to avoid the press well with the ball, but in the end it has cost us much more. But we have learnt how to suffer, and it is good to suffer.”

Griezmann was also full of compliments for teammate and superstar ?Lionel Messi, who assisted the Frenchman for the opening goal of the game. Speaking of his understanding on the pitch with the Argentina international, the ex-Atletico Madrid man claimed that their relationship ‘will surely get better’ with time. 

“I’ve been here for seven months and we still have to learn each other’s movements, but in time it will be better,” he said. 

Lionel Messi,Antoine Griezmann

“I am enjoying working together with Leo and it will surely get better.”

Griezmann was also quick to dismiss rumours that he is not settled in Catalonia, and he stated that he is ‘very happy’ at Camp Nou. 

“I am very happy, my family too and we are really enjoying ourselves here.”

?Barcelona are now level on points with leaders ?Real M?adrid, but Los Blancos have a game in hand, which they will play on Sunday evening against struggling Celta Vigo. 

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Twitter Reacts as Barcelona Close in on Top Spot With Crucial Win Over Getafe

?Barcelona closed the gap at the top of La Liga with a big win at Camp Nou, as they beat Getafe 2-1 on Saturday afternoon.

Second place met third with both sides looking to close the gap on league leaders Real Madrid. Barcelona could regain top spot on goal difference with an emphatic win, while Getafe could close the gap between them and the Blaugrana to just four points.

Against the run of play, Getafe found the back of the net and took the lead. Or so they thought. While Allan Nyom had done well to follow up the rebound from Molina’s header, he got to the ball by violently elbowing Samuel Umtiti in the face en route to following it up.

Getafe’s well-earned goal amassed to nothing, as a lengthy VAR check ruled the goal out. In fact, Nyom was lucky not to receive a straight red card for his foul, instead staying on the pitch.

Antoine Griezmann punished the visitors ten minutes later, putting Barcelona in front. He touched the ball over goalkeeper over David Soria with an audacious finish, with ?Lionel Messi’s one-touch assist equally a gracious sight to behold as Barça went ahead.

Sergi Roberto made it two for the Blaugrana, this time with an excellently worked team goal. Messi helped work the ball across the pitch as it found the feet of Junior Firpo, and his cut back cross was swept home by Roberto to give the Catalan club breathing space.

Barcelona maintained their possession, but Getafe were determined to get back into the game. They did exactly that just after the hour mark, with a superb finish from substitute Angel Rodriguez bringing them within one goal of Barcelona, opening up the tie.

Getafe were inches away from drawing level, but ?Marc-Andre ter Stegen clawed the ball away from his line. The visitors were revitalised after their consolation goal, but the German goalkeeper was doing everything in his power to keep them out.




?Barcelona get a much needed rest in advance of their next ?La Liga clash, as they welcome relegation battlers Eibar to Catalonia next Saturday. Getafe on the other hand are in European action, hosting Dutch giants Ajax in the Europa League round of 32.

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Barcelona 2-1 Getafe: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Blaugrana Earn Critical Victory in Title Race

Barcelona closed in on league leaders Real Madrid with an important win on Saturday afternoon as they beat Getafe 2-1 at Camp Nou.

After a quiet opening 20 minutes, Getafe thought they had taken the lead. Allan Nyom followed up the rebound from Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s strong save, but VAR overturned it because of an unnecessary and excessive foul on Samuel Umtiti by Nyom.

That disallowed goal came back to bite Getafe when Barcelona broke the deadlock ten minutes later. Lionel Messi played a delightful ball through to Antoine Grizemann, who deftly slotted it home for his first league goal in six games.


Barça doubled their lead soon after with a sumptuous team goal, cutting through the Getafe defence with grace and precision. The ball was worked out wide to Junior Firpo, pulling it back for Sergi Roberto to fire into the bottom corner and give the reigning champions a comfortable lead.

Out of nothing, Getafe pulled one back with a stunning effort from Angel Rodriguez. The Spaniard positioned himself perfectly to meet Jaime Mata’s cross, sweeping it home into the bottom corner to give the visitors a lifeline at Camp Nou, but Barça held on to claim the win.


BARCELONA

Key Talking Point

Antoine Griezmann

?Barcelona have faltered in recent weeks, and while they started on Saturday with the lion’s share of possession, they didn’t threaten. They were lucky not to go behind, but Getafe’s disallowed goal woke them up and urged them on to go and take the lead themselves.

Once Griezmann put the Blaugrana in front, they had the confidence and belief to go forward and attack. This was complemented by a wonderful team goal finished off by Roberto, a sign of the vintage Barcelona that the football world has come to know and love.

While Getafe gave them a scare with the consolation, Barcelona did well to see out the win. They put in a typically vibrant performance that earned them three vital points in their pursuit of the title – it is just a case of whether they can maintain that momentum and gain consistency.


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ter Stegen (6); Roberto (7), Pique (7), Umtiti (6), Alba (N/A); De Jong (6), Sergio (6), Arthur (6); Messi (7*), Griezmann (7), Fati (6).

Substitutes: Firpo (6), Rakitic (6), Vidal (N/A).


STAR MAN – LIONEL MESSI

Though he didn’t get onto the scoresheet, Lionel Messi was hugely influential in Barcelona’s win. He got the assist for the first goal with a beautiful pass, and was at the heart of every attack and every move in an excellent playmaker’s performance.



GETAFE

Allan-Romeo Nyom

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Soria (7*); Nyom (5), Djene (6), Etxeita (6), Olivera (6); Etebo (5), Arambarri (6), Maksimovic (6), Cucurella (6); Molina (7), Mata (6).

Substitutes: A.Rodriguez (7), Kenedy (6), Amath (6).


STAR MAN – DAVID SORIA

Goalkeeper David Soria kept Barcelona at bay for long spells of the game, keeping them out and Getafe in the game. He made several key saves that kept out a relentless attacking Barcelona, putting in a sound performance at Camp Nou.


Looking Ahead

Nemanja Maksimovic,Frenkie de Jong

Barcelona have a week off to prepare for their next match, when they welcome struggling Eibar to Camp Nou next Saturday. That is followed by a massive trip to Naples in the ?Champions League, as they meet ?Napoli on 25 February in the first leg of their round of 16 clash.

Getafe have a tasty Europa League clash next Thursday, when they host Eredivisie leaders Ajax in the round of 32. They then host fifth-place Sevilla at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez on 23 February, with the two sides currently separated by just three points.

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Manchester City Banned From Champions League for 2 Seasons & Fined €30m for FFP Breaches

?UEFA have confirmed that Manchester City have been banned from the Champions League for the next two seasons over Financial Fair Play breaches.

City have also been fined €30m (£25m) after they were found to have misled UEFA as well as breaking FFP rules.

Pep Guardiola

UEFA’s Club Financial Control Body (CFCB) discovered that City falsely inflated their sponsorship revenues. 

UEFA said in a statement: “Following a hearing held on 22 January 2020 the Adjudicatory Chamber of the UEFA Club Financial Control Body (CFCB), chaired by José da Cunha Rodrigues, has today notified Manchester City Football Club of the final decision on the case which was referred by the CFCB Chief Investigator.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber, having considered all the evidence, has found that Manchester City Football Club committed serious breaches of the UEFA Club Licensing and Financial Fair Play Regulations by overstating its sponsorship revenue in its accounts and in the break-even information submitted to UEFA between 2012 and 2016.

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has also found that in breach of the regulations the Club failed to cooperate in the investigation of this case by the CFCB.

Fernandinho,Nicolas Otamendi

“The Adjudicatory Chamber has imposed disciplinary measures on Manchester City Football Club directing that it shall be excluded from participation in UEFA club competitions in the next two seasons (ie. the 2020/21 and 2021/22 seasons) and pay a fine of €30m.

“The decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber is subject to appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS). If Manchester City Football Club exercises that right the full reasoned decision of the Adjudicatory Chamber will not be published prior to publication of the final award by the CAS.”

City came under fire initially when leaked emails and documents uncovered by German outlet Der Spiegel back in November 2018 suggested that the club were finding ways of falsifying revenue streams. 

?The Guardian report that club owner Sheikh Mansour was alleged to have been funding the £67.5m deal with Etihad to sponsor City’s stadium and kits, and further leaks suggested only £8m from that sponsorship in the 2015-16 financial year came directly from the airline.

City have released a statement condemning the decision: “Manchester City is disappointed but not surprised by today’s announcement by the UEFA Adjudicatory Chamber. The Club has always anticipated the ultimate need to seek out an independent body and process to impartially consider the comprehensive body of irrefutable evidence in support of its position.

FBL-ENG-FACUP-MAN CITY-FULHAM

“In December 2018, the UEFA Chief Investigator publicly previewed the outcome and sanction he intended to be delivered to Manchester City, before any investigation had even begun. The subsequent flawed and consistently leaked UEFA process he oversaw has meant that there was little doubt in the result that he would deliver. The Club has formally complained to the UEFA Disciplinary body, a complaint which was validated by a CAS ruling.

“Simply put, this is a case initiated by UEFA, prosecuted by UEFA and judged by UEFA. With this prejudicial process now over, the Club will pursue an impartial judgment as quickly as possible and will therefore, in the first instance, commence proceedings with the Court of Arbitration for Sport at the earliest opportunity.”

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La Liga Doubt Barcelona’s Claim That Ousmane Dembele Will Miss 6 Months Through Injury

?A specialist panel working with La Liga will review the extent of Ousmane Dembele’s injury, with doubt being cast over Barcelona’s initial prognosis that he will miss six months and potentially scuppering their emergency transfer plans.

Barça put out a statement earlier in the week suggesting that the forward was feeling discomfort in his right leg, although there were no initial concerns that it would be anything severe. But further tests carried out by club doctors revealed a hamstring injury picked up in training has ended his season prematurely.


This ?most recent setback follows a long line of injuries the Frenchman has suffered since moving to La Liga, preventing him from cementing a regular spot in the side.

Due to the length of the 22-year-old winger’s layoff, La Blaugrana looked set to be given special permission from the Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to make a new signing outside of the transfer window. Some reports even suggested that they had even ?reached an agreement for Willian Jose to join from Real Socieded. 

But ?Sport report that those plans could be shelved as there is serious doubt over the estimation ?Barça placed on Dembele’s layoff, as the hamstring injury is the exact same injury he picked up on his other leg back in 2017. He missed a total of 106 days – nowhere near the six-month timeframe claimed by his club this time around.

Ousmane Dembele

Should Dembele be sidelined for fewer than five months, then the severity of his injury wouldn’t be enough to grant Barça special dispensation to sign another forward outside of the transfer window.

To look over his injury, a specialist group in sports medicine will reevaluate all the details submitted by Barça, and the committee will present their own estimation on his injury, potentially curtailing any hopes the club had of securing a stop-gap signing.


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