Barcelona 3-1 Valencia: Ansu shines as Koeman's side start big week with win

This was the right way to go about things, at least in the first half

It is a huge week for Barcelona but it started in the worst possible way with Valencia’s Jose Gaya socking home a spectacular strike from distance in the fifth minute.

Ansu Fati had other ideas. Ronald Koeman handed Ansu his first start since his injury woes began almost a year ago. The young forward netted on his return against Levante off the bench but this was another milestone in his comeback.

Ansu levelled with a special strike from the edge of the box, curled into the far corner. He has the Midas touch. Everything he touches turns to goals. Ansu’s strike settled Barcelona nerves. 

It was the young gun involved again as Barcelona took the lead before the break, brought down in the box by Gaya for a penalty. At least according to the referee; replays showed the Valencia man did get the ball. Memphis dispatched the penalty emphatically to send Barcelona in ahead at the break.

Ansu came close early in the second half and so did Carlos Soler, the Valencia midfielder striking the post from distance.

Sadly for Barca fans, Ansu had to go off before the hour mark, presumably as part of his return to full fitness program.

It coincided with a period where Valencia threatened and Barça wobbled, although his replacement Philippe Coutinho made the game safe, thanks to some bad marking by Valencia and a good piece of play by Dest, operating as a right-winger throughout.

Sergio Aguero came on for his debut in the final stages and was lively, as Barcelona started their big week in decent fashion. On to Dinamo Kiev, on Wednesday.

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