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Ansu Fati Leads Charge In Barca’s 3-1 Win Over Valencia

Ansu Fati celebrates scoring against Valencia FC

October 18, (THEWILL) – Barcelona beat Valencia 3-1 at Camp Nou on Sunday, with Ansu Fati and Memphis Depay relieving the pressure on Ronald Koeman after a run of disappointing results heading into the international break.

Before the game, the Catalans had won just three of their first seven La Liga games, and more disappointment seemed a distinct possibility when Jose Gaya put Jose Bordalas’ side ahead early on.

Fati’s comeback from a long-term knee injury had been limited to substitute appearances before the international break, but he marked his first start since November 7 with a superb equaliser, and Depay put them ahead from the penalty spot before the break.

Barca, who gave former Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero a late debut from the bench, sealed an important win with a goal from substitute Philippe Coutinho five minutes from time.

Valencia took the lead after just five minutes, with Gaya slamming a superb half-volley into Marc-Andre ter Stegen’s bottom-right corner from 30 yards.

After a one-two with Depay, Fati whipped past Jasper Cillessen from just outside the penalty area to draw Barcelona level eight minutes later.

Gaya brought down Fati inside the area, creating the opportunity for Depay to put the hosts ahead four minutes before halftime, thumping home from the penalty spot.

Soon after the restart, Cillessen got down well at his near post to deny Fati, while Carlos Soler saw an effort crash back off Ter Stegen’s right-hand post.

As Valencia threatened to restore parity, Ter Stegen had to be on his toes to stop Goncalo Guedes’ powerful strike just before the hour mark.

Within the final 10 minutes, Maxi Gomez almost drew Valencia level with a long-range free-kick that flashed past Ter Stegen’s upright, but Coutinho had the final say, sliding in his first goal of the season from close range.