Atletico’s Griezmann aiming to extend Barcelona dip
MADRID – Agence France-Presse
Barça was forced last month to deny claims they had agreed a deal to sign the Frenchman, whose relentless run of form since the turn of the year now stands as the principal threat to them toasting a 25th La Liga triumph.
In January, Barcelona and Atletico were separated by 11 points at the top of the table but win this weekend, and Diego Simeone’s side will have cut that gap to two.
Barça’s slip at Las Palmas on March 2, a day after Atletico claimed their eighth consecutive victory over Leganes, means the balance has tipped back towards the capital.
But, just as Griezmann has been the driving force behind their resurgence, with an outstanding 12 goals in nine games, the 26-year-old will be key again if Atletico are to inflict Barca’s first defeat this season.
He has never scored at the Camp Nou, a drought that extends to nine outings, but back-to-back hat-tricks, the second a quadruple, against Sevilla and Leganes this week will certainly have pricked the Catalans’ attention.
“He has played at this level in other seasons,” Simeone said after the March 1 win. “He is an extraordinary player - he already showed this in the past.”