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.?
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.
Key Talking Point
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.
Standing ovation for Ansu Fati as he’s substituted at Camp Nou. A brace today. Riqui Puig on. 2-0 with five mins to go…
— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) February 2, 2020
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.
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.