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Barcelona defeated Levante as Memphis Depay, Luuk de Jong and returning Ansu Fati net at Nou Camp

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There is a new number ten in Camp Nou and his name is Ansu Fati. With nine minutes to go between Barcelona and Levante, and after 323 days out with a knee injury, the 18-year-old scored the third goal in the team’s 3-0 win over Levante

It was the kind of fairytale script Lionel Messi wrote every week and it faded from the gloom and doom that had hung over the club for the past two weeks.

There had been a huge roar as he started to warm up late in the second half, an even bigger roar went up when he came on at minute 81 and won a penalty almost immediately.

Ansu Fati made his long-awaited return from a knee injury that kept him out for 323 days

The teenager marked his return in style, scoring his side's third goal after acting as a junior

The teenager marked his return in style, scoring his side’s third goal after acting as a junior

Fati inherited the number 10 shirt from Lionel Messi after the Argentine moved to PSG

Fati inherited the number 10 shirt from Lionel Messi after the Argentine moved to PSG

MATCH FACTS

Barcelona (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Mingueza (Arajuo 81), Pique, Garcia, Dest (Lenglet 89); Gavira (Demir 82), Busquets, Nico Gonzalez; Coutinho (Riqui Puig 59), Luuk de Jong (Ansu Fati 81), Memphis

Trainer: Ronald Koeman

Subscribers: Neto, Umtiti, Inaki Pena

Goals: Memphis 6 (pen), de Jong 14, Ansu Fati 90+1

Booked: Gavira

Levante (4-4-2): aitor; Miramon, Postigo, Mustafi (Rober 76), Carlos Clerc; De Frutos (Cantero 69), Radoja (Pablo Martinez 55), Pepelu (Vukcevic 69), Melero; Roger, Daniel Gomez (Luis Morales 55)

Trainer: Paco Lopez

Subscribers: Son, Franquesa, Duarte, Biesa, Cola, Cunat

Goals: –

Booked: Postigo, Pepelu, Carlos Clerc

And when he shook off Levante defender Jorge Miramon and defeated Aitor Fernandez, the net bulged and shook the old stadium.

He celebrated by trotting to the seats next to the dugout to hug club doctor Lluis Til.

“It’s an honor to wear this shirt after Leo. It’s not pressure, I’m grateful for the chance to wear it,” he said.

“We are Barca and we want to win everything. I want to thank all the doctors and physios who came to see me this time.’

Even without his dramatic return, this would have been a big day for Barcelona. After two weeks of turmoil, they turned on style at the Camp Nou for the suspended Ronald Koeman who watched from the stands.

Koeman’s compatriots Memphis De Jong and Luuk de Jong helped the boss with two early goals and teenager Gavi played as Xavi in ​​midfield before Fati wore the number 10 shirt he promised to wear after Messi after being asked by the club captains .

Memphis went early for the Levante carotid artery and drew first blood.

He ran between Jorge de Frutos and Jorge Miramon and the next obstacle in his path was Nemanja Radoja who tripped him.

From no start, Memphis sent the keeper the wrong way and hid his penalty. That was with six minutes on the clock.

At minute 10, Messi was remembered by supporters at Camp Nou, but with chants of ‘F***ing PSG! F***ing PSG!’.

At 14 minutes it was again 2-0 involving Memphis. He sent Dest on the left and the pass from the fullback saw Luuk de Jong score his first goal for Barcelona.

The Dutch internationals had given the team the perfect platform and it was left to the homegrown talent to shine on it.

Memphis Depay opened the score from the penalty spot after six minutes

Memphis Depay opened the score from the penalty spot after six minutes

The Dutchman has now scored three goals in six LaLiga appearances this season

The Dutchman has now scored three goals in six LaLiga appearances this season

17-year-old Gavi, from the same city in southern Spain as Jesus Navas and who chose Barcelona as a 10-year-old when several top clubs were chasing his signature, pinged passes across the pitch for fun.

He split the Levante defense to feed Memphis, who was forced alongside keeper Aitor Fernandez.

And then he might have even scored on Oscar Mingueza’s pass, but his lob was caught by the Levante keeper.

The former Manchester United man (left) celebrates Ansu Fati's goal that gave Barca a 3-0 win

The former Manchester United man (left) celebrates Ansu Fati’s goal that gave Barca a 3-0 win

Luuk de Jong added a second shortly after the Memphis opener when Barca took a 2-0 lead

Luuk de Jong added a second shortly after the Memphis opener when Barca took a 2-0 lead

His 19-year-old team-mate in midfield, Nico Gonzalez, also shone as Barcelona defended high, playing with a busy invention that has been absent in recent weeks.

With half an hour to go, the game as a match became more and more flat, but on the sidelines it became more and more lively.

First, Riqui Puig was called to prepare to fill in – the cheers grew even louder when it became clear that it was Philippe Coutinho who was coming off and not one of the homegrown youngsters.

The Netherlands international's goal was his first goal for Barcelona since joining the club in the summer

The Netherlands international’s goal was his first goal for Barcelona since joining the club in the summer

The former Newcastle striker moved to Camp Nou for a season on loan from Sevilla

The former Newcastle striker moved to Camp Nou for a season on loan from Sevilla

And the cheers were even louder as Fati began his warm-up.

With fifteen minutes to go, Gavi still had enough in the tank to run after Levante one more time, but his cross was just behind De Jong.

The crowd of 35,000 people at Camp Nou – 4,000 short of the allowed capacity – wanted Ansu, who according to Koeman could play for 15 minutes.

He showed up with nine minutes to go.

All that was missing was a goal and it looked like he was going to get it when Pablo Martinez knocked him down in the area, only for the referee to wave off penalty apps.

That was all special enough: a dazzling cameo on his return that almost led to an immediate goal.

But Fati wasn’t done yet and in the 90 minutes he scored the goal to round out the perfect afternoon.

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