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It’s Only Taken 3 Games For Memphis Depay To Look Better Than Antoine Griezmann

Since arriving in 2019, there's been an unreasonable amount of matches in which Antoine Griezmann’s most memorable contribution is a piece of tracking back and putting in defensive work. He’s basically like a $142 million Blaise Matuidi. 

That was again the case on Sunday as Griezmann went 83 minutes against Getafe without attempting a shot, providing a key pass or completing a take-on, but the forward did have more tackles (five) than any other Barça player. There were audible whistles from the 20,000 in attendance at the Camp Nou whenever he got on the ball, particularly in the 79th minute when he cheaply conceded possession in midfield with a terrible pass. 

Thankfully for Barcelona, a man who cost $142 million less already looks more suited for the Blaugrana despite only making his third appearance: Memphis Depay. There understandably wasn’t a lot of fanfare for a 27-year-old arriving on a free transfer from Lyon, particularly in the English-speaking world, where he still unfairly carries the tag of “Manchester United flop.”

This is the player who scored in six straight Champions League games for Lyon during the club’s run to the semifinals, and who has 20 goals for the Netherlands in his last 34 caps. He’s added a lethal effectiveness to his bag of tricks. 

Depay played a big role in Barça’s opener. Two minutes into the match, the Dutchman took possession centrally and released Jordi Alba out wide. The fullback’s cross was turned home by Sergi Roberto.

But teams don’t fear Barcelona anymore — as evidenced by the fact that Getafe outshot Barça — and Sandro Ramírez found an equalizer in the 18th minute after a quick one-two with Carles Aleñá.

Both those players are La Masia products.

But Depay would restore Barça’s advantage with what would prove the match-winner in the 30th minute. Frenkie de Jong gets the assist, but this was all about Depay’s confidence. 

After providing an assist against Real Sociedad and scoring against Athletic Club, Depay is off to a historic start in LaLiga. He probably should’ve even added a second in the 85th minute off Sergiño Dest’s cross, but the work had been done.  

Depay and Barcelona return to action after the international break with the opening of the Champions League group stage — it’s a massive match at the Camp Nou against Bayern Munich.

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