Match Report: Barcelona 3-0 Levante -Fati on target on Blaugrana return in emphatic win

Ansu Fati celebrates scoring on his Barcelona return against Levante
Ansu Fati celebrates scoring on his Barcelona return against Levante

Ansu Fati marked his return with a brilliant late goal and Luuk de Jong opened his Barcelona account in a 3-0 LaLiga defeat of Levante.

Luuk de Jong doubled Barca’s lead in his fourth appearance for the club following his move from Sevilla after his Netherlands team-mate Memphis Depay opened the scoring from the penalty spot.

An inspired performance from Aitor Fernandez prevented Barca from significantly boosting their goal difference as they totally dominated the game, with under-pressure boss Ronald Koeman watching on from the stands as he serves a two-match ban.

Fati, on as a late substitute, put the icing on the cake in his comeback following 10 months out with a knee injury, finishing superbly in stoppage time as Barca ended a run of three games without victory.

Depay sent Fernandez the wrong way from the spot just six minutes in, having produced great trickery to beat two defenders before being upended by Nemanja Radoja.

De Jong opened his Barca account eight minutes later, finishing clinically with his right foot after Sergino Dest had slipped him in.

Gerard Pique somehow failed to add a third from point-blank range and Gavi was unable to lob an advancing Fernandez, who showed great reflexes to tip the lively Depay’s header over the crossbar.

Levante were unable to contain Depay and Fernandez diverted his right-footed drive around the post after some shambolic defending.

Teenager Nico Gonzalez, making his first Barca start, flashed a venomous long-range drive wide and Fernandez thwarted Depay yet again.

Sergio Postigo almost turned the impressive Gavi’s cross into his own net before Fati was given a great ovation when he came off the bench with 10 minutes to go.

The 18-year-old looked like he had never been away as he spun away from a defender then beat another before finding the back of the net with a right-footed shot from outside the area.

There has been so much doom and gloom at Barca with Koeman’s job reportedly under threat following Lionel Messi’s exit, but there was no sign of a crisis as Levante were outclassed.

Koeman, who was shown a red card in the goalless draw with Cadiz in midweek, certainly has the players behind him on the evidence of this performance.

Forward Fati raised the roof when he fired home in the closing stages, showing why he had the confidence to take Messi’s number 10 shirt as Barca maintained their unbeaten record in LaLiga this season.

Outstanding Depay torments Levante

Fati will fill the back pages but Depay was outstanding and deserved more than just the one goal, which took his tally in LaLiga to three.

The former Lyon captain tormented Levante, dropping deep and getting in behind. Five of his six shots were on target and he also provided three key passes.

Radoja all at sea

Radoja conceded the penalty that gave Depay the chance to open the scoring and he was a passenger as Levante were left chasing shadows before being withdrawn early in the second half.

He was taken off after 55 minutes having had just 23 touches and committing two fouls from three attempted tackles.

What’s next?

A Champions League encounter at Benfica is Barca’s next assignment, while Levante travel to Mallorca next weekend

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