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'This happened at Atletico too' - Griezmann not worried by slow Barca start after quiet performance against Levante

20:35 WAT 02/11/2019
Antoine Griezmann Barcelona 2019-20
The France international managed only one shot in 90 minutes as Ernesto Valverde's side were beaten 3-1 away from home in La Liga on Saturday

Antoine Griezmann says he isn’t concerned by his underwhelming start to life at Barcelona, after Ernesto Valderde’s new-look front three stuttered in Saturday’s 3-1 defeat at Levante.

Lionel Messi converted a penalty to see Barca ahead at the break, but they squandered their spot at the top of La Liga as Levante scored three goals in seven second-half minutes.

After starting alongside Messi and Luis Suarez but failing to make an impact – he registered twice as many offsides in the match as shots – some Barca fans are concerned that their marquee summer signing isn’t settling in well at Camp Nou.

“I feel good,” Griezmann said after the game. “This also happened to me at Atletico. I have to come in little by little because I am not going to get the tactics right straight away, but I am used to it.”

After joining Atletico Madrid from Real Sociedad back in 2014, it took until Griezmann’s 10th league game for him to find the net with a brace against minnows Cordoba. But once the floodgates opened, he eventually rattled in 22 league goals – the joint-most of his five-year spell in Madrid.

But while he may not be unduly worried about his own performances, Griezmann is well aware that for a club like Barca, losing 3-1 at Levante can’t be justified to the fans.

“It might be a problem of focus that we didn’t start well in the second half,” he added. “We can only learn and improve.

“Anything can happen in a match, the trick is being able to react to it and we didn’t. We must see what we did wrong to try and correct it.

“It can be a problem of attitude. We conceded three goals in ten minutes and that can happen, but we must do everything to make sure it does not happen again.”

Barcelona have struggled away from home this season, and Saturday’s defeat was their third of the season already on the road following losses at Athletic Bilbao and Granada earlier in the campaign.

With more recent wins at Eibar and Getafe, Barca looked to have gotten the monkey off their back – but manager Valverde says they now have to do it again.

“We are not playing the same season at home as we are away,” Valverde admitted. “But after the first games when we couldn’t win away, we then did it.

“We have to keep going, that’s it. We have to analyse it and ask ourselves why it has happened. The criticism is always very strong and we will have to react to it, but it is no different to any other time.”

Barca now have two home games to find their feet again. They host Slavia Prague in the Champions League on Tuesday, before a league fixture against Celta Vigo next Saturday.