Barcelona 2-1 Levante: Report, Ratings & Reaction as Ansu Fati Double Inspires Win

Barcelona’s teenage prodigy Ansu Fati lit up the Nou Camp with a quickfire double to help his side register a 2-1 home victory against Levante in La Liga on Sunday night.?

Lionel Messi once again delivered for La Blaugrana providing both assists for the 17-year-old – who became the youngest ever brace scorer in La Liga history – while the win moves Barça back to within three points of arch-rivals Real Madrid at the top of the table.

Ansu Fati,Nelson Semedo

After a slow start, ?Barcelona hit the visitors with a two-minute blitz on the half-hour mark. Messi’s exquisite pass found Fati who showed composure beyond his years to slot the ball between the Levante keeper’s legs.

No sooner had Levante conceded than the same Messi-Fati combination resulted in the hosts’ second of the night, the teenager receiving a perfectly weighted pass before rifling home.

Semedo hit the bar from yet another Messi pass but 2-0 is how it stayed at the break and after the interval, Levante came out with renewed vigour.

On multiple occasions, Barca keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called into action and Ruben Rochina fired over when it looked easier to score.

At the other end, Messi and co couldn’t find the third goal to kill the game off and as the game entered into injury time Rochina’s deflected half-volley sealed scant consolation for the visitors.


Barcelona

Key Talking Point

Ansu Fati

A two-minute burst completely changed the complexion of this game, orchestrated by the master and his apprentice.

Then in the blink of an eye, an injection of pace and a sudden burst of penetration had Barça establish a two-goal lead in as many minutes.

Messi of course was the creator. His slide-rule pass set up Fati for the opener and then his delayed pass once again found the teenager who smashed in his second.

The 17-year-old became the youngest ever scorer of a double in ?La Liga, ably abetted by arguably the Spanish top-flight’s greatest ever player.



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Not quite a changing of the guard, from this performance it appears that Leo still has much to offer but Fati’s emergence smacks of Messi’s emergence onto the Barça scene. 

The Argentine was taken under Ronaldinho’s wing and now it appears Messi is repeating the trick with Fati. 


Player Ratings

Starting XI: Ter Stegen (7); Semedo (7), Pique (8), Lenglet (6), Alba (7); Busquets (8), Rakitic (7), De Jong (6); Messi (8*), Griezmann (6), Fati (8).

Subs: Roberto (7), Arthur (6), Puig (N/A) 


STAR MAN: Lionel Messi

Who else but Messi?

The skipper was the architect of his team’s first-half blitz. Having fired a few warning shots of his own, he dropped deeper and on Superbowl night, became Barça’s quarterback.






Messi’s first assist of the night was a thing of beauty, the vision to pick out the pass and then the perfect execution to put Fati clean through was nothing short of spectacular.

From near enough the centre-circle, he spotted Fati’s run and arrowed a laser-precision pass which carved Levante’s defence wide open. 

With the visitors rocking, Messi took full advantage, delaying his pass until the opportune moment to again roll a perfectly weighted ball into Fati’s path for the quick-fire second. 

The 32-year-old was at the heart of every attacking move but try as he might, he was unable to register on the scoresheet. However, his wand of a left foot did the damage in laying on both of Blaugrana’s goals as once again the number 10 was instrumental in securing victory for his side.


Levante

Player Ratings

Starting XI: Fernandez (7), Miramón (7), Vezo (6), Postigo (6), Toño (6); Rochina (7*), Vuk?evi? (7), Melero (6), Campaña (7); Roger (6), Morales (5)

Subs: Borja (5), Hernani (7), Bardhi (6)


Looking Ahead 

Quique Setién’s men face a quarter-final Copa del Rey clash away to Athletic Club before travelling to Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday.

As for Levante, they host struggling side Leganes in the league on Saturday lunchtime. 

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