Quique Setien praised Antoine Griezmann in Barcelona’s 2-0 La Liga win over Leganes on Tuesday for doing a “commendable job.”
A goal from Ansu Fati opened the scoring for Barca, with a good showing of the young Spanish star shining throughout.
Elsewhere, Lionel Messi’s second-half penalty saw Barca seal the win as they regained their five-point advantage over the table.
However, Griezmann again struggled largely, continuing a series of performances of concern dating back to before the break caused by a coronavirus.
The forward had an attempt ruled out for offside and in his first season since making the move from Atletico Madrid to Barcelona, he has just eight goals in 28 La Liga games.
In total, Griezmann has scored 14 goals through 38 matches, leaving him tied for second in goals at the club behind Messi with injury-plagued Luis Suarez.
It is a drop-off from Griezmann ‘s efforts with Atleti, with the forward having netted at least 20 goals with Diego Simeone ‘s side in each of his five seasons.
Yet Setien praised France international for his efforts, saying to Movistar: “Griezmann is a boy doing a praiseworthy job. He is a very important player.”
On the return from the coronavirus-enforced break, Barcelona has yet to reach top form but has managed to conquer the bottom side of La Liga.
Setien said he would foresee a challenge if his side did not find an early goal, with Fati’s opener coming three minutes before half-time.
“I knew the game was going to be hard. It’s going to be difficult unless you’ve got the opportunity to get it right at the start, which unlocks the game. It’s been so,” he said.
The busy run of fixtures in Barcelona continues on Friday with a trip to Seville which marks the club’s third game back from the break.
Following that, Messi, Griezmann, and co. will leap straight back into practice for a home match against Athletic Bilbao four days later.