Antoine Griezmann at the double as Barcelona boost their LaLiga title bid



Posted Monday, April 26, 2021 by PA

Antoine Griezmann at the double as Barcelona boost their LaLiga title bid

Antoine Griezmann produced a double as Barcelona’s LaLiga title challenge regained pace with a 2-1 defeat of 10-man Villareal.

The club sit second in the table following the victory, with Atletico Madrid just two points above them at the top of the league.

Ronald Koeman’s squad had not suffered a LaLiga defeat since December before their losing encounter with reigning champions Real Madrid on April 10, but the club returned to winning form when defeating Getafe on Thursday and retained that momentum at Estadio de la Ceramica.

Antoine Griezmann at the double as Barcelona boost their LaLiga title bid
Villarreal’s Manu Trigueros was sent off during the defeat to Barcelona (Alberto Saiz/AP)

Their task was made easier by the dismissal of Manu Trigueros in the 65th minute, with the Spaniard’s lunging tackle on Lionel Messi earning him a straight red card.

Villareal’s Samuel Chukwueze pounced on an opportunity to hand his side the lead in the 26th minute, with Pau Torres spotting a gap in Barca’s defence and finding the Nigerian, who made his way around Marc-Andre ter Stegen to open the scoring.

The lead proved to be short-lived, however, as Griezmann picked up a pass from Oscar Mingueza and responded almost immediately when firing past Sergio Asenjo to equalise two minutes later.

The Frenchman then struck again to hand the visitors the lead after 35 minutes, this time intercepting a weak back pass from Villareal’s Juan Foyth and slotting the ball past a helpless Asenjo.

After the break the hosts were a man down when midfielder Trigueros slid in with a reckless tackle to floor Barca captain Messi and was shown a red card, with team-mate Raul Albiol the recipient of a yellow card after his protesting of the referee’s decision.

Villareal were still able to create a chance in the 78th minute with their depleted team when Gerard Moreno looked poised to produce an equaliser, but his shot was wide of the mark and the ball drifted past the right post.

Barcelona then missed an opportunity to cap their victory with a similar near miss after 83 minutes, with Frenkie de Jong attempting to chip the ball over Asenjo but seeing his effort bounce and land off target.

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