The Spanish supervisor pressured he did not take pleasure in protecting his French star benched for thus lengthy however felt it was his best choice
Barcelona head coach Quique Setien admitted it’s tough to play Antoine Griezmann with out “destabilising” the staff as he threw the Frenchman’s future into additional doubt.
Griezmann was a 90th-minute substitute in opposition to former staff Atletico Madrid, who earned a 2-2 draw away to defending La Liga champions Barca on Tuesday.
A €120 million signing from Atletico initially of the season, Griezmann arrived amid a lot hype however the star ahead has struggled at Camp Nou, the place he has began on the bench in opposition to Sevilla and Athletic Bilbao in latest weeks.
Explaining Griezmann’s place on the bench as Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Riqui Puig began within the attacking third, Setien mentioned: “It’s difficult to put him on without destabilising the team.”
Griezmann has scored eight La Liga targets this season and 14 throughout all competitions for second-placed Barca.
However, Griezmann has not scored since Barca’s 1-1 draw in opposition to Napoli within the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie previous to the coronavirus pandemic in February.
“I understand it’s tough for Griezmann to come on when so little time left. I will speak with him tomorrow, I won’t say sorry because [it’s about] decisions,” Setien mentioned.
“But I understand he may feel bad and I feel bad for him because he’s a great person and professional.”
Messi scored his 700th profession purpose however stuttering Barca nonetheless dropped extra factors within the title race.
Diego Costa’s 11th-minute personal purpose had put Barca forward earlier than Saul Niguez’s penalty restored parity for Atletico eight minutes later.
Messi transformed a penalty of his personal 5 minutes into the second half to have fun his landmark purpose, however one other Saul spot-kick – within the 62nd minute – secured a draw for Atletico.
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Barca are one level behind leaders Real Madrid, who can transfer 4 clear with victory over Getafe on Thursday, as stress mounts on Setien.
However, under-fire Barca boss Setien mentioned: “I do not really feel in any respect below risk.
“It’s a shame. We’re having more and more difficulties. Leaving these points behind means we’re moving further away from the title. But we have to keep working and Atletico are a good team.”