The win away at Celta is the Blaugrana’s first successful trip to the Estadio de Balaidos in six years. Koeman named the same XI that beat Villareal and Celta struggled to keep up with Barcelona in the rain.
Barça ran out comfortable 3-0 winners despite being a man down for most of the game. So who were the winners and losers?
Winner – Ansu Fati
Ansu Fati is in a rich vein of form right now. It’s hard to believe he’s only 17! The composure with which he took his goal on the night was reminiscent of a prime Samuel Eto’o.
Ansu Fati has now scored four goals in his last three LaLiga appearances:
He turns 18 later this month. 🙃 pic.twitter.com/mGntBZOA4c
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) October 1, 2020
He latched onto Coutinho’s pass and calmly put the ball in the net with the outside of his right foot. It was a difficult finish but he made it look so easy, and he seems set to continue his meteoric rise from prospect to superstar this season.
Anssumane Fati Vieira, remember the name.
Loser – Clement Lenglet
The Frenchman was brought into the Barça ranks as a backup option but quickly established himself as a starter. His trademark positioning and composure seemed absent on the night, as he got caught out by Celta’s pace twice, earning himself a red card in the process.
One might argue that both decisions were harsh (one was his first offence on the night), but the referee on the night deemed both fouls worthy of caution and consequently, a sending off.
Winner – Phillipe Coutinho
The little magician was at his brilliant best yesterday evening. Coutinho was a dazzling light in the stormy Balaidos and rightly earned the man of the match award.
Congratulations to Philippe Coutinho for being named Budweiser's Man of the Match.⭐️ pic.twitter.com/EtoDUn6S3f
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) October 1, 2020
He set up Fati for the opener, his second assist in two games, but it was his movement and composure throughout the affair that caught the eye. The Brazillian played with a swagger reminiscent of his Liverpool days and he seems to finally have struck up a good understanding with Leo Messi.
Ronald Koeman will need him to keep up this kind of form in their bid to win La Liga this season, and maybe more.
Loser – Antoine Griezmann
Antoine Griezmann just cannot seem to catch a break in a Barcelona shirt. Initially promised a more central role this season, Messi’s failed departure means he’s once again banished to the wide areas of the pitch.
Admittedly, coming in off the right does suit him more than his previous left-wing duties, but right now the left is where all the action is. Messi, Fati, Coutinho, and Alba all seemed to enjoy playing together yesterday evening, with Frenkie de Jong often drifting over to join the party.
Griezmann seemed like the outcast on the field, and when Lenglet was sent off, it was he who made way for Araujo to enter the fray. The Blaugrana then went on to score two more without him, playing excellent football with 10-men, and making it seem as though Griezmann was never needed in the first place.