World News – AU – Barcelona vs Villarreal – Football Match Report – September 27, 2020 – ESPN


Barcelona kicked off the Ronald Koeman era in style with an impressive 4-0 home win over Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday

Koeman, who oversaw the departures of several established names at the club this summer, has named a starting XI that includes Lionel Messi, Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho

But young striker Ansu Fati opened the scoring, shooting at home after Jordi Alba pulled out in the 15th minute

The 17-year-old, who was officially promoted to Barca’s first team last week, added a second in the 19th minute after Coutinho led a counterattack

Messi added a third in the 35th minute, scoring a penalty after Fati suffered a foul by Mario Gaspar Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo got his hands on the kick but couldn’t stop it

And Barca added a fourth before half-time when Pau Torres put Messi’s cross, intended for Sergio Busquets, into his own net

The hosts continued to dominate the game in the second half but failed to add to their considerable advantage

Koeman, who took over from Quique Setien in August after the crushing 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the Champions League, could hardly have hoped for a better start after the chaotic end of the season overshadowed by Messi’s attempt to leave the club

He had only unleashed his latest attack on the club hierarchy until Friday, criticizing the way his former strike partner Luis Suarez had been kicked from the club

Suarez made a superb debut at Atletico Madrid earlier on Sunday, but here Barca didn’t seem to miss him as they played with more pace and freedom than in many games last season, throwing rapid fire counters and building in the back

« It was a good game for us, especially in the first half, we were much better than them, we created a lot of chances and scored four goals, » said the midfielder of Barca Sergio Busquets

« We lowered our intensity a bit in the second half and that made things more difficult for us but overall we are leaving our first game feeling good. We are close to the team we want to be »

Former Barca defender Koeman made his La Liga debut for 17-year-old Pedri, Portuguese winger Francisco Trincao and Juventus summer signing Miralem Pjanic in the second half

Ousmane Dembele also came for his first competitive appearance for Barca since last November after returning from hamstring surgery

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Ansu Fati gave Barcelona a glimpse of what life could be like without Lionel Messi with a starring role in Sunday’s 4-0 win over Villarreal

Barcelona won Ronald Koeman’s debut 4-0, as Ansu Fati offered a glimpse of the future with two goals, and Lionel Messi also scored

Diego Costa has spoken of Atletico Madrid’s potential now that the club have him and Luis Suarez on the books

Barcelona Vs Villarreal

World News – UA – Barcelona vs Villarreal – Football Match Report – September 27, 2020 – ESPN


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