The Spaniard scored twice in a 4-0 defeat to Villarreal to open his LaLiga season, while fellow teenager Pedri came off the bench late.

Fati’s performance should be highlighted

Even Ronald Koeman couldn’t contain his excitement after Ansu Fati put on an impressive performance to help Barcelona win their first competitive game under the Dutchman. The Spaniard scored twice in a 4-0 defeat to Villarreal to open his LaLiga season, while fellow teenager Pedri came off the bench late. “His performance should be highlighted,” Koeman said when asked about Fati’s night’s work. “I am very pleased with him. We know that he is only 17 and has a lot to improve. Fati has to find consistency, and sometimes he lacks concentration. He wasn’t that good against Elche, but today he was. He had a great match. I’m thrilled with him and Pedri. They both have a great future.” Antoine Griezmann started the game on the three behind Fati, and Koeman was pleased with what the Frenchman showed.

“He can change positions with Leo Messi,” Koeman said. “The opposition is more difficult. I am pleased with his performance.” Overall, the coach was satisfied with what he saw from his players after the short pre-season schedule. “We are pleased,” added Koeman. “We played very well in the first half, and the game slowed down in the second. But it was our first match, and the impression is good.” Luis Suarez’s departure left the squad without depth in the No.9 position, although Koeman doesn’t think it’s the end of the world if he doesn’t arrive. “It’s always good to have another striker,” Koeman admitted, “to have another plan. But you can play without a No.9.”