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La Liga: Africa’s Ansu Fati shines as Barcelona beat Valencia 5-2, Madrid scrape 3-2 win [See all results]

Ansu Fati

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La Liga: Africa’s Ansu Fati shines as Barcelona beat Valencia 5-2, Madrid scrape 3-2 win [See all results]

Barcelona starlet Ansu Fati scored on his full debut for the Catalan giants in a 5-2 win over Valencia at the Camp Nou on Saturday.

The 16-year-old Guinea-Bissau wonderkid slammed home Frenkie de Jong’s cutback inside two minutes to give the hosts the perfect start and then teed up the Dutchman for Barca’s second five minutes later

Valencia hit back on 28 minutes through Kevin Gameiro. The French striker latched on to a pass by Rodrigo Moreno and finished clinically past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona restored their two-goal advantage early in the second-half following a mistake by their former goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen. The Dutchman spilled a shot by Antoine Griezmann, allowing Gerard Pique to tap home from close range.

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Luis Suarez replaced Fati on the hour and added Barcelona’s fourth minutes later. The Uruguayan grabbed his second late on before Maxi Gomez poked home a consolation for Valencia in stoppage time.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde was still without Lionel Messi through injury, but he sprung a surprise with his starting XI, handing 16-year-old Fati his first start for the club in attack.

Meanwhile, at Santiago Bernabeu, Real Madrid produced a rampant first-half display to beat Levante 3-2 in La Liga on Saturday with goals from Karim Benzema and Casemiro but dropped off after Eden Hazard came on to make his debut and were left clinging on for the three points.

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Benzema headed Real in front after 25 minutes at a rain-swept Santiago Bernabeu when he met a cross from Dani Carvajal and the France forward struck again a few minutes later after latching on to a pass from James Rodriguez.

Brazil midfielder Casemiro stretched Real’s advantage right before halftime with a gut-busting run to meet a cross from compatriot Vinicius, but Levante hit back shortly after the interval through former Madrid forward Borja Mayoral.

Perhaps with Wednesday’s Champions League opener at Paris St Germain in mind, Real manager Zinedine Zidane brought off captain Sergio Ramos and Casemiro on the hour, allowing Hazard to finally make his debut after recovering from injury.

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Madrid’s 100 million euro ($110.73 million) signing looked a bit off the pace in his first competitive game though and, as the hosts’ intensity dropped, Levante’s Gonzalo Melero reduced the deficit to one goal and they had chances to equalise.

 

See all results from Saturday fixtures:

Real Madrid 3 – 2 Levante

Leganes  – 3 Villarreal

Real Sociedad 2 – 0 Atletico Madrid

Barcelona 5 – 2 Valencia

 

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