Good start for Koeman as Barcelona ease to win over Villarreal

Tanya Simon
September 28, 2020

His first goal came thanks to a great assist from Jordi Alba who delivered from the left for the forward to finish.

Atletico had taken control of the game with a Diego Costa header in the ninth minute and even though Saul Niguez had a penalty saved later in the first half, the home side put the game out of Granada's reach after the interval with goals from Angel Correa and Joao Felix.

The Barca No10 floated a wonderful ball into the penalty area in search of Sergio Busquets, and in sheer panic, Pau Torres put the ball in the back of his own net.

Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Francisco Trincao and Miralem Pjanic were introduced in the second half, but the match had already been settled as a contest by then, with Barcelona starting their title challenge in style.

Koeman was also keen to point out it was not exclusively his decision to let Suarez join Atletico Madrid, with the Dutchman insisting he is not the "bad guy in the movie".

He grabbed his second a few minutes later on the end of a counterattack, this time taking a touch to set himself before converting.

Jorge Molina struck a consolation goal for Granada in the 86th before Suarez promptly restored Atletico's five-goal advantage.

Atletico coach Simeone tried to dampen the euphoria that was bound to surface after such a big win.

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"Suarez does what we know he can do".

"We are very lucky to have Luis, I don't understand how Barca could have let him leave", Costa said.

"We are completely serene", he added concerning the probe into Suarez's exam, which was taken in Perugia on September 17.

"His arrival is going to generate a level of competition for places that will only be good for the team".

Koeman insisted on Saturday that Messi had been "leading by example" in training and his confidence was repaid at Camp Nou, where the striker, and club-captain, delivered an excellent display.

"If they had chose to sell me, or loan me, of pay-off my contract then I would have accepted that".

Elsewhere Sunday, Sevilla beat Cadiz 3-1 and there was another former Barcelona player on the scoresheet as Ivan Rakitic got the third in the impressive away win.

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