Barcelona’s Fati goes from strength to strength
Madrid, Oct 1 (efe-epa).- Young phenom Ansu Fati moved closer to an another milestone Thursday with a goal for Barcelona in a 3-0 LaLiga win over Celta, while Youssef En-Nesyri led Sevilla 1-0 against Levante and promoted Cadiz posted their first top-flight victory over Athletic in Bilbao.
Fati, who had a double in Barça’s season opener with Villarreal, is now just one away from matching the record set by Pablo Pombo (1916-2001) for the most goals in senior play before the age of 18.
The Guinea-Bissau-born Spanish international will turn 18 on Oct. 31.
Though Fati put his team ahead in the 11th minute, the match was no walk in the park for the Blaugrana, whose last win at the Balaidos was in 2015.
The visitors went down to 10 men with two minutes left in the first half, as defender Clement Lenglet picked up a second yellow card.
To Lenglet’s relief, Lionel Messi engineered an opposition own goal for the second time in two outings. The Argentine’s shot deflected off Celta’s Lucas Olaza to make it 2-0 for Barça in the 51st minute.
The hosts had their chances, but Barcelona preserved the clean sheet and Sergi Roberto added a third goal in the 95th minute as the side stayed perfect two weeks into the Ronald Koeman era.
Barcelona are fifth in the table with 6 points from two games. Formerly unbeaten Celta slipped to 11th with 5 points from four matches.
Level on points with Barça are Sevilla, who eked out a 1-0 win Thursday against visiting Levante.
The hosts had 65 percent possession and outshot Levante 16-3, yet it took a goal in second-half stoppage time by En-Nesyri to secure the 3 points, though Munir El Haddadi had a goal disallowed in the 67th minute after VAR detected a foul by one of his teammates.
En-Nesyri, lately in the bad books of Sevilla supporters for botching what should have been the winner against Bayern Munich in the UEFA Super Cup, started the game on the bench and came on only in the 70th minute in place of Luuk de Jong.
Two minutes into stoppage time, En-Nesyri got his head to a Jesus Navas header for the 1-0.
Levante sit 13th with 3 points after three games.
Cadiz had to overcome setbacks to come away from the Balaidos with a triumph in the top-flight for the first time in the club’s history.
The visiting side were reduced to 10 men three minutes into the thanks to the expulsion of Carlos Akapo on a straight red card before taking the lead in the 57th minute on an Athletic own goal, as Unai Lopez’s attempt to clear ended in disaster for the hosts. The win leaves Cadiz in eighth, with 6 points from four matches. Athletic are 15th with 3 points in three games. EFE