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Ernesto Valverde critical of Antoine Griezmann's performance against Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona lost to Athletic Bilbao 1-0 thanks to a screamer from Aduriz in the 89th minute -- their first loss on the opening day of a La Liga season in 10 years.

India TV Sports Desk India TV Sports Desk
New Delhi Published on: August 17, 2019 12:38 IST
Antoine Griezmann
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Ernesto Valverde critical of Antoine Griezmann's performance against Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde was critical of new signing Antoine Griezmann's performance against Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga opener on Friday.

Barca lost to Athletic Bilbao 1-0 thanks to a screamer from Aduriz in the 89th minute -- their first loss on the opening day of a La Liga season in 10 years.

But, the French forward's performance perhaps wasn't what the coach expected in the absence of Lionel Messi and Valverde let it know.

"Of course, he is aware that we all expect a lot from many players and he has to look to get more into the game," Goal.com quoted Valverde as saying.

"If he's near the area, he is decisive and moves well, but you have to dominate the game for that to happen," Valverde added.

The 28-year-old struggled to have any say in the game and Luis Suarez's first-half injury meant he had little support.

"Putting him on the left side, we know that you are going to focus on the goal, but we have a side and players that can hold the game," Valverde said.

Valverde also commented on the Luis Suarez injury as he left the field just after the half-hour mark due to an apparent calf injury.

Valverde said: "He has a muscular problem and we have to wait for the tests. In the second half, when we were around the Athletic's area, we missed him."

Barcelona will next play against Real Betis on August 26. 

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