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In his first home La Liga game with Barcelona, Antoine Griezmann scored twice in a 5-2 victory over Real Betis. 

By Associated Press
August 25, 2019

MADRID — With Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez watching from the stands, Antoine Griezmann came through for Barcelona by scoring twice to lead the Catalan club to its first Spanish league win of the season with a 5-2 rout of Real Betis on Sunday.

Griezmann celebrated his second goal by going near the Barcelona fans and throwing glitter into the air like NBA star LeBron James.

''I like LeBron's ritual and I tried to imitate him,'' Griezmann said.

The newly signed France forward had already scored the first goal for Barcelona after Betis opened the scoring at Camp Nou Stadium.

Carles Perez, Jordi Alba and Arturo Vidal also scored for Barcelona. Nabil Fekir and Loren Moron scored for Betis.

Barcelona had lost 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao last weekend for its first opening league defeat in a decade.

Messi had already missed the opener because of a calf injury, while Suarez got hurt before halftime in Bilbao. Forward Ousmane Dembele also was out injured.

Griezmann, who joined from Atletico Madrid for 120 million euros ($133 million) in the offseason, had started at Barcelona with a lackluster performance in the opener. But he took charge on Sunday, scoring his first goal after sliding to a cross from Sergi Roberto in the 41st minute.

Griezmann's second came in the 50th with a well-placed left-footed shot that curled into the far corner, just out of reach of Betis goalkeeper Dani Martin. Griezmann was handed glitter from someone who appeared to be a Barcelona staff member behind the goal, then threw it up in the air.

Forward Ansu Fati, 16, made his senior-team debut with Barcelona as a second-half substitute, becoming the second youngest to play with the club in the Spanish league.

Barcelona's Sergio Busquets was substituted in the 72nd with an apparent injury.

Atletico Madrid earlier won 1-0 at Leganes to join Sevilla as the only two teams with straight victories to start the league. Real Madrid opened with a win but was held by Valladolid to a 1-1 draw at home on Saturday.

ATLETICO KEEPS ROLLING

Portuguese teenager Joao Felix set up Victor ''Vitolo'' Machin's second-half goal to keep Atletico with a perfect record.

Felix sent a through pass for Vitolo in the 71st minute and the striker found the net from inside the area at Butarque Stadium.

''It was a complicated match, but we leave with the victory,'' Vitolo said. ''We are at the top and we need to keep working to keep our momentum.''

Leganes, the southern Madrid club which had opened with a home loss to promoted Osasuna, nearly broke the deadlock early in the second half when Jonathan Silva's free kick struck the crossbar at Butarque Stadium.

Atletico was still without striker Diego Costa because of an injury.

OTHER RESULTS

Norway midfielder Martin Odegaard gave Real Sociedad a 1-0 win at promoted Mallorca, while Alaves drew 0-0 with Espanyol at home.

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