Barça get goals from Depay, Fati in 3-1 win over Valencia

Barcelona, Oct 17 (EFE).- Barcelona overcame conceding an early goal to defeat Valencia 3-1 here Sunday and move to within striking distance of the top four places in LaLiga.

The Blaugrana are seventh in the table with 15 points, 2 behind Real Madrid, Sevilla and Atletico Madrid, and 5 points off the pace of leaders Real Sociedad.

Valencia are ninth on 12 points after extending their winless streak to five.

Ansu Fati, making his first start for Barça in nearly a year after losing most of last season to a knee injury, signaled his intent on the first sequence in front of 47,000 at Camp Nou, charging down the field and delivering a shot that the Valencia defense turned aside for a corner.

Minutes later, a corner in the Barcelona end led to a goal for Valencia’s Jose Gaya, who pounced on a loose ball and caught keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen by surprise with a quick strike.

Gaya did his part to protect the advantage with an intervention to deny what looked like a sure goal for Sergiño Dest in the 10th minute.

But the equalizer came three minutes later from Fati, who beat Jasper Cillessen with a perfect first touch on taking a return pass from Memphis Depay.

With a little more than five minutes left in the first half, Gaya fouled Fati in the area and referee pointed to the spot.

Depay converted to give Barcelona the lead.

Fati looked set to extend the advantage in the 50th minute, but Cillessen came up with a good save to deny the 18-year-old.

As the match approached the hour mark, Fati went off to make room for Philippe Coutinho, who also missed the majority of last season with an injury.

The Brazilian wasted no time putting Cillessen to the test, but his effort sailed over the cross-bar after taking a deflection off a defender.

Maxi Gomez came close to bringing Valencia level with a free kick in the 84th minute, seconds before Coutinho made it 3-1 for Barça.

EFE gmh/dr

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