Barcelona rally to beat Valencia 3-1, Ansu Fati form gives fans hope of rebuild in post-Lionel Messi era

Ansu Fati scored a objective and provoked a penalty as Barcelona rode on the 18-year-old to beat Valencia 3-1.
Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho additionally scored for Barcelona as they moved to seventh place, 5 factors behind leaders 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 in opposition to Levante.

“We have at all times stated we want gamers like him,” stated Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman, who was again on the bench after a suspension of two league matches following a pink card for complaining.

“It was his first begin and it was already determined with the docs that he would solely play for about an hour. We do not need to overwork him in such an necessary week for us.”

Barcelona have been 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 received solely as soon as in its final six matches in all competitions.

Barcelona have begun a three-game house stint that Koeman known as key to getting the staff again on monitor. They’ll subsequent play a crucial Champions League sport in opposition to Dynamo Kyiv on Wednesday after which the primary El Clasico of the season in opposition to Actual Madrid.

“It was an important win, we’re in a key week within the season,” Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong stated. “We began it nicely by incomes factors and gaining confidence, that is crucial for the membership proper now.”

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

Jose Luis Gaya opened the scoring for the guests with a robust long-range shot 5 minutes into the match on the Camp Nou Stadium, however Fati equalized from outdoors the world within the thirteenth and received the penalty kick transformed by Depay within the forty first.

Valencia complained concerning the penalty name, saying Gaya touched the ball earlier than Fati fell inside the world.

“We’re outraged,” Valencia coach Jose Bordalas stated.

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

Dest got here off within the remaining 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 have been on worldwide obligation with their nationwide groups.

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