FC Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has responded to claims of a rift between himself and Antoine Griezmann, who was benched on Saturday.
Griezmann did not play a single minute as the Catalan giants registered a 2-0 win over Sevilla, with Ousmane Dembele and Lionel Messi getting on the scoresheet.
The French forward has only netted six goals in 23 league appearances this season, but Koeman insists the decision to drop the striker was not personal.
“It was not a message to him (leaving him on the bench),” he told an interview with Marca.
“We have decided to change the system and, to have depth in the team, we have put Dembele up front.
“At 1-0 in front we decided that next to Leo we needed someone faster than Griezmann. It is no punishment.”
The win took the Catalan giants to second spot, two points behind LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid although the two Madrid outfits are only in action on Sunday.
Griezmann could return to the starting line-up during the week as Barcelona aim to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit against Sevilla in the Copa del Rey semi-finals.
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