GOAL | Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal | Arthur Melo 15′
CHANCE! Well, I said there would still be chances for Valencia, and two arrive in quick succession here. They beat the press to get forward down the right and the ball is played inside for Gameiro, who suddenly finds himself with only the keeper to beat. Ter Stegen stays big to thwart him one on one, but the danger is not passed and it takes another fine stop from the keeper to deny Gameiro again moments later before the referee’s whistle ends the attack.
Oh Fati is putting on an exhibition here. He produces a brilliant piece of skill to earn a yard inside the box and this time looks for a teammate when he could have perhaps gone for goal himself.
Good spell for Valencia at the end of the half here, but Ter Stegen has taken the pressure off his side with a series of fine aerial claims.
Just a minute left of this first half, and it is one which has been lit up by Ansu Fati so far. We still have a game on our hands, though, and it will stay that way as long as the deficit is only one goal.
SHOT! Griezmann has been comparatively quiet tonight, but he works room to shoot here before letting fly and firing over the crossbar.
There will be two minutes of added time at the end of this first half.
HALF TIME: BARCELONA 2-1 VALENCIA
An entertaining first half comes to an end at the Camp Nou, then, and it is Barcelona who go into the break with the lead courtesy of their very quick start to the match.
Valencia got themselves back into it despite surrendering the lion’s share of possession – and there are chances there for the visitors – but the story of the game so far has been the emergence of 16-year-old Ansu Fati.
Making his first start for the club, the youngster took less than two minutes to score his second senior goal for them as Barcelona got off to a dream start.
Frenkie de Jong’s low cross into the box was met by Fati, whose low first-time finish left Cillessen with no chance in the Valencia goal. Griezmann also deserves credit having let the ball run, but there was no doubting who was the man of the moment.
Barcelona’s Anssumane Fati celebrates scoring their first goal with team mates on September 14, 2019
Things got even better for the teenage starlet five minutes later when he returned the favour to Frenkie de Jong, setting up the Dutchman to score his first goal at the Camp Nou.
The experience of Garay could not nullify the skill of Fati, whose quick feet saw him skip past the defender on the left channel before pulling the ball back for De Jong to blast his finish home – a second Barcelona goal after only seven minutes.
Fati has come close to a spectacular second on a couple of other occasions too, but Valencia are still in the match courtesy of their goal back shortly before the half-hour mark.
Kevin Gameiro latched on to Rodrigo’s pass before sliding his finish beyond the keeper, and while the goal was initially ruled out for offside VAR proved that he was in fact on, and allowed the goal to stand.
KICKOFF: Valencia get us back underway for the second half at the Camp Nou!
CHANCE! Bright start to the second half from Valencia, who see one cross well blocked by Lenglet before another reaches Gameiro at the back post. The Frenchman goes for a first-time volley, but gets it all wrong and it flies well over. A half-chance at best.
You just get the feeling that Barcelona will need another goal to make this lead comfortable. They have dominated possession, but Valencia can create chances on the break and, as things stand, they only need to take one of those.
GOAL! BARCELONA 3-1 VALENCIA (GERARD PIQUE)
GOAL! There is that third goal, and it is Gerard Pique who gets it with a poacher’s effort!
Cillessen will take some of the blame, though, having allowed Griezmann’s low strike to squirm under his body and against the inside of the post. Pique channels his inner fox in the box to pounce on the loose ball, reacting much quicker than anyone else to tap home the rebound from close range!
YELLOW CARD! Alba goes into the book for a cynical shirt tug on Rodrigo to halt a counter-attack.
OFF THE POST! Barcelona are inches away from a fourth which would surely kill this game off once and for all!
This time it is Semedo who drives a low strike towards the bottom corner which is just beyond the reach of Cillessen but crashes against the inside of the post and rebounds this time to safety.
That third goal will ease a lot of nerves inside the Camp Nou. Barcelona should now be in complete control of this game and, considering the level of possession they are enjoying, it would take some collapse to throw this one away from here.
Ansu Fati is brimming with confidence here. He is ready to bring out all of the tricks and Valencia are now doubling up on him whenever he gets the ball. At 16 years old he is already feared by defences.
BARCELONA SUB: Well, they will not have to fear him any more. On comes Luis Suarez in his place.