La Liga: Barcelona begin ‘key week’ with victory
Ansu Fati marked his first start in almost a year by scoring one goal and creating another as Barcelona came from behind to beat Valencia 3-1 in La Liga at Camp Nou on Sunday.
The victory moved Ronald Koeman’s side up to seventh in the table on 15 points, five behind leaders Real Sociedad but with a game in hand. “It was really important to get the win. It’s a key week for us and we’ve started it well,” midfielder Frenkie De Jong said.
The Valencia match marked the start of a big week for both Koeman and team, with Dynamo Kiev visiting the Camp Nou on Wednesday before arch-rivals Real Madrid come to town on October 24.
Despite being allowed a full capacity crowd for the first time since March 2020, Barca’s ground was only half full — and those in attendance were silenced after five minutes as Jose Gaya’s long-range strike swerved into the far corner past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Barca responded well and Fati levelled after 13 minutes with a wonderful curled finished from the edge of the box.
The youngster was then felled inside the box by Gaya four minutes before the break and Memphis Depay stepped up to net from the spot.
The home side secured three points when substitute Philippe Coutinho fired in from close range five minutes from the end following tenacious work from Sergino Dest.
Barcelona’s delegate members earlier on Sunday approved the club’s financial accounts for the 2020-21 season with losses of $557 million.