Fati shines once more as Barcelona rallies to beat Valencia 3-1

Ansu Fati is rapidly changing into Barcelona’s go-to participant within the absence of Lionel Messi. The 18-year-old Fati made his first begin for Barcelona after an extended damage layoff on Sunday, scoring a aim and incomes his group a penalty because the Catalan membership halted its dropping streak by rallying to beat Valencia 3-1 within the Spanish league.

Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho additionally scored for Barcelona because it moved to seventh place, 5 factors behind chief Actual Sociedad and with a sport in hand.

Fati returned to motion final month after being sidelined for greater than 10 months due to a knee damage, coming off the bench in three straight matches earlier than getting his first begin on Sunday and giving followers extra hope that the membership can rebuild round him after Messi’s departure to Paris Saint-Germain. He had already scored a couple of minutes after getting into the sport towards Levante.

“We have at all times mentioned we’d like gamers like him,” mentioned Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who was again on the bench after a suspension of two league matches following a crimson card for complaining. “It was his first begin and it was already determined with the medical doctors that he would solely play for about an hour. We do not wish to overwork him in such an necessary week for us.”

Barcelona was coming off two defeats earlier than the worldwide break — 2-0 at Atlético Madrid within the league and 3-0 at Benfica within the Champions League. It had gained solely as soon as in its final six matches in all competitions.

Barcelona has begun a three-game house stint that Koeman referred to as key to getting the group again on observe. It can subsequent play a crucial Champions League sport towards Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday after which the primary “clásico” of the season towards Actual Madrid.

“It was a vital win, we’re in a key week within the season,” Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong mentioned. “We began it properly by incomes factors and gaining confidence, that’s essential for the membership proper now.”

The loss prolonged Valencia’s winless streak to 5 matches. It dropped to ninth place within the league.

José Luis Gayà opened the scoring for the guests with a strong long-range shot 5 minutes into the match on the Camp Nou Stadium, however Fati equalized from outdoors the realm within the thirteenth and gained the penalty kick transformed by Depay within the forty first.

Valencia complained in regards to the penalty name, saying Gayà touched the ball earlier than Fati fell inside the realm.

“We’re outraged,” Valencia coach José Bordalás mentioned.

Coutinho, marred by accidents since returning to Barcelona, sealed the victory from shut vary within the eighty fifth for his first aim with the Catalan membership in almost a 12 months. American defender Sergiño Dest made the go for the Brazilian.

Dest got here off within the last minutes to permit the debut of Sergio Aguero, who was signed by Barcelona from Manchester Metropolis for this season however was but to play as he had been recovering from damage.

Barcelona is 2 factors behind Madrid, Sevilla, Osasuna and defending champion Atlético Madrid. Madrid and Atlético had their weekend video games postponed as a result of some gamers had been on worldwide responsibility with their nationwide groups.


Barcelona’s delegate members earlier Sunday accepted the membership’s monetary accounts for the 2020-21 season with losses of 481 million euros ($557 million). Additionally they gave their approval to a funds of an working earnings of 765 million euros ($886 million) for 2021-22.

“We’ve to look ahead and deal with getting the membership again to its outdated self,” membership president Joan Laporta mentioned. “We’ve been working tirelessly for six months to get the membership out of the institutional pit that it has fallen into. However we aren’t going to have the ability to repair this case in a single day.”


Third-place Sevilla rebounded from its first lack of the season with a 1-0 victory at Celta Vigo, with Rafa Mir scoring the winner early within the second half. It was the fourth loss in 5 house video games for Sixteenth-place Celta.

Osasuna gained 2-1 at Villarreal with Ezequiel “Chimy” Ávila scoring the winner for the guests within the 87th. Lucas Torró had opened the scoring for Osasuna within the first half and Gerard Moreno equalized early within the second half. It was the third straight victory for fifth-place Osasuna. Villarreal stayed eleventh.

With Radamel Falcão staying on the bench, sixth-place Rayo Vallecano beat 14th-place Elche 2-1 at house.

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