Excelsior High school recovered from their opening-day loss to defending champions Kingston College to comprehensively defeat Dunoon Technical in action from Saturday’s games.

In other games on Saturday St Andrew Technical were the biggest winners, handing Northern Technical a 12-0 beating that wasn’t the best welcome they could have envisioned to the competition.

St George’s College, perennial contenders, also started well, destroying Ardenne High 5-1, while St Catherine High were massive 8-1 winners over Oberlin.

Cumberland edged St Jago High 1-0 in a St Catherine derby, while Kingston High and Charlie Smith played out a 1-1 draw. Denham Town were not in the mood to give anything away, beating Ascot 1-0, while the Kingston College train kept rolling with the 5-0 schellacking of Pembroke Hall.

Defending Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division champions Naparima College have slipped while newcomers Malick Secondary have announced themselves as real contenders with their second win from as many games.

The victory put Malick at the top of the table as the only team to have kept a 100 per cent win record to date in addition to a healthy + seven after their 5-0 thrashing of Speyside Secondary last week.

This week, things were a little closer as Trinity College Moka returned from their 6-0 thrashing at the hands of Presentation College last week to put in a much improved performance.

Despite giving nearly as good as they got, Trinity College Moka are now second from bottom, just ahead of Speyside Secondary who also fell to a second defeat.

Speyside, who were destroyed on opening weekend, found the going no easier against St Anthony’s College who blew them away 7-1.

St Anthony’s are now in third place on the tables with four points along with Naparima College, who are in fourth after their 2-2 draw on Saturday.

There are two other teams on four points, with East Mucurapo Secondary in second and Trinity College East in fifth also in the running for a title, at least in the early going.

Presentation College were pegged back 2-1 by Carapichaima East, who like them, are now on three points in sixth and eighth places respectively.

St Benedict’s College got off the mark against St Mary’s College (CIC) but had to work hard after the latter joined them at 2-2 before they pulled away.

Pleasantville Secondary also had a turnaround on Saturday, losing to Queen’s Royal College 4-2. QRC were coming off 6-0 loss and now lie 10th with this victory.

St Augustine Secondary have had two draws this season, this week, Trinity College East too tough to get by in a 2-2 affair.

San Juan North Secondary are yet to get off the mark, after their bye this week.

 

 

 

Pos

Team

P

W

D

L

F

A

+-

Pts

1

Malik Secondary

2

2

0

0

7

1

6

6

2

East Mucurapo Secondary

2

1

1

0

8

2

6

4

3

St Anthony's College

2

1

1

0

8

2

6

4

4

Naparima College

2

1

1

0

5

2

3

4

5

Trinity College East

2

1

1

0

4

3

1

4

6

Presentation College

2

1

0

1

7

2

5

3

7

St Benedict's College

2

1

0

1

5

4

1

3

8

Carapichaima East Secondary

1

1

0

0

2

1

1

3

9

Pleasantville Secondary

2

1

0

1

3

4

-1

3

10

Queen's Royal College

2

1

0

1

4

8

-4

3

11

St Augustine Secondary

2

0

2

0

3

3

0

2

12

San Juan North Secondary

1

0

0

1

0

1

-1

0

13

St Mary's College

2

0

0

2

2

7

-5

0

14

Trinity College Moka

2

0

0

2

1

8

-7

0

15

Speyside Secondary

2

0

0

2

1

12

-11

0

Inter Miami are continuing their stunning bid to sign Lionel Messi.

Messi, 32, can reportedly leave Barcelona at the end of any season for a club outside of Europe despite being contracted at the LaLiga champions until 2021.

Linked with a shock switch to David Beckham's MLS outfit Inter Miami, the club are continuing to make moves for the Argentina superstar.

 

TOP STORY – INTER MIAMI REPRESENTATIVE MEETS MESSI'S DAD

Beckham sent Inter Miami sporting director Paul McDonough to London for talks with Messi's dad Jorge, according to The Sun.

Inter Miami are set to enter MLS in 2020 and are looking for a big-name signing, with Messi undoubtedly the biggest of the names linked.

It comes just days after Messi said in an interview with Sport that he wanted to remain at Camp Nou for "as long as possible".

ROUND-UP

- Real Madrid could chase Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba again in January. Sport Bild reports Real Madrid are planning to use Toni Kroos in an exchange deal to land the France international, who was heavily linked with a switch during the close season.

- Sadio Mane re-signed with Liverpool until 2023 less than 12 months ago, but the European champions are already looking for the attacker to recommit. Liverpool have opened talks with Mane for an extension, according to Soccer Link.

- Seemingly unwanted at Juventus, Mario Mandzukic's future remains a talking point. Qatari club Al-Gharafa have offered €6million net per year to the striker and can meet Juve's demands, according to CalcioMercato, which reports Los Angeles FC are also interested in the Croatian despite the MLS transfer window not reopening until February.

- Inter are already looking to lock down a couple of stars. CalcioMercato reports the Serie A giants want to extend the contracts of goalkeeper Samir Handanovic – until 2022 – and forward Lautaro Martinez until 2024. The report says Inter would also double Martinez's salary from €1.5m to €3m per season amid interest from Barcelona.

- Sam Allardyce is ready for a return to management. The Sun reports the former England boss, who left Everton in May last year, is eyeing a return to Sunderland if the reported takeover by an American consortium is completed.

New York City pulled clear atop the Eastern Conference in MLS, while Josef Martinez extended his goalscoring streak on Saturday.

Keaton Parks and Alexandru Mitrita scored as New York City came from behind to claim a 2-1 victory over the San Jose Earthquakes.

Chris Wondolowski poked in a Valeri Qazaishvili cross to give the Earthquakes a surprise 20th-minute lead at Yankee Stadium.

However, City were ahead prior to the break, Parks equalising before Mitrita finished clinically after an Ismael Tajouri pass in the 43rd minute.

The result extended City's unbeaten run in MLS to seven games as they moved five points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia Union are in second but lost ground after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to Western Conference leaders Los Angeles FC.

Kacper Przybylko gave Union an early lead before this season's top goalscorer Carlos Vela levelled.

Atlanta United, third in the east, suffered a 3-1 loss to Columbus Crew despite Martinez continuing his incredible streak.

Martinez scored for the 14th consecutive MLS game to put Atlanta ahead, but second-half goals from Gyasi Zardes and Luis Diaz Espinoza and a Miles Robinson own goal saw Columbus to a surprise victory.

Chicago Fire boosted their play-off chances with a 4-0 thrashing of Dallas and Cincinnati stunned Montreal Impact 1-0 despite a late red card to Kendall Waston.

Nani scored a brace but Orlando City were held to a 3-3 draw by New England Revolution and the Vancouver Whitecaps beat Houston Dynamo 2-1.

Paris Saint-Germain coach Thomas Tuchel said Neymar had to accept the boos from fans after he marked his return with a spectacular winner against Strasbourg.

Playing his first game of the season for PSG, Neymar produced a moment of magic in additional time, scoring an acrobatic goal to lift PSG to a 1-0 win on Saturday.

But the Brazil star was targeted by his own fans, booed after an off-season transfer saga during which he reportedly pushed for a return to Barcelona.

Tuchel said the 27-year-old needed to accept being booed by supporters, but he praised Neymar's response.

"It was not easy because he is a sensitive guy, but he did well," he told a news conference.

"That's the life, it's not easy for the fans too during the transfer market. That's why we have to accept their behaviour. I don't want to judge their behaviour, it's like that. It was not easy.

"He can play better, with more dribbling and more accelerations. He needs several games in order to find the right rhythm and his physical abilities to make our game faster with his sprints.

"He has the quality to decide the destiny of a game. I am happy he showed that in the last minute."

PSG hold a two-point lead atop Ligue 1 after claiming their fourth victory in five league games.

They host Real Madrid in a blockbuster Champions League clash on Wednesday.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde described Ansu Fati as "something special" after the teenager starred in a 5-2 win over Valencia on Saturday.

Making his starting debut, Fati needed just seven minutes to have a major impact at Camp Nou, opening the scoring before setting up Frenkie de Jong for Barca's second.

Fati, aged 16 years and 318 days, became the youngest player to score as a starter in LaLiga history, and the youngest player to both score and assist in a LaLiga game in the 21st century.

Valverde lauded the teenager – who has scored two LaLiga goals for Barca – for his performance, saying it was beyond expectations.

"He is a player who has something special. For his age it seems that he is more mature," he told Movistar. 

"What you see in training is what you see here. Today was something exaggerated – goal, give one assist and almost score another."

Fati set up Barca's victory before a second-half goal from Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez brace lifted Valverde's side onto seven points from four LaLiga games.

Amid the excitement around Fati, Valverde played down comparisons to superstar Lionel Messi, who is sidelined with a calf injury.

"I'm not worried about the comparison," he said.

"The ball is going to be very big and we have to take care of deflating it."

Barcelona sit fourth in what is a congested top half of the table, trailing Atletico Madrid (nine points), Real Madrid (eight) and Athletic Bilbao (eight).

As for his side's performance, Valverde praised Barca's second-half display at home.

"The best thing is that we have come out with determination, to try to score and arrive," he said.

"Sometimes we were in danger of putting a lot forward and leaving room for counters. They have fast players. We have done a good second half."

Barcelona are back in action on Tuesday, visiting Borussia Dortmund in their opening game in the Champions League this season.

Ansu Fati has made history at Barcelona in such a short space of time that even Lionel Messi's continued absence through injury has not been felt too keenly.

After making his debut at the age of 16 years and 298 days in the 5-2 defeat of Real Betis in August, he became Barca's youngest LaLiga goalscorer after coming on to score in the 2-2 draw at Osasuna a week later.

With Messi still not ready to be risked and Ousmane Dembele also sidelined, Ernesto Valverde made the bold call of handing Fati his full debut in Saturday's 5-2 win over Valencia at Camp Nou. He needed just seven minutes to prove his coach right.

Inside two minutes, Fati turned in Frenkie de Jong's cross to put Barca ahead, and he returned the favour to his team-mate five minutes later after a brilliant run from the left, becoming the youngest LaLiga player this century to score and assist a goal in the same game.

He came close to scoring twice more in the first half from that same position, as he turned and squared up fearlessly against full-back Daniel Wass at every opportunity. One impudent flick over his own head in the Valencia box brought gasps from the home fans.

Little wonder Barca Under-19 boss Victor Valdes described him as "the jewel of La Masia",  a player who produces "pure anarchy". Little wonder his first childhood coach, Jose Luis Perez Mena, said: "I've been watching football for 50 years and I've never seen anyone like him."

With the Under-17 World Cup coming up next month, little wonder, either, that Spain are desperate to sign him up.

Born in Guinea-Bissau and eligible for both them and Portugal, Fati moved to Spain with his family as a child and joined Sevilla's academy before accepting an offer to sign for Barca as a 10-year-old, after his father turned down a more lucrative approach from Real Madrid.

According to Catalan daily Sport, Fati has declared his intention to play for his adopted country and national team head coach Robert Moreno says efforts from the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) to bring him into La Roja's fold are well underway.

"The people of the federation are working on it in order to bring Ansu Fati in, and then there will be the decision of the player," he told Movistar at half-time of Saturday's game.

"The federation works to have the best players. It's a joy for Barca – a player who has come out of La Masia. You have to be calm and I hope he is."

Fati certainly seems someone unlikely to let his sudden fame get the better of him. He described his debut last month as "the dream of any boy at La Masia"; a moment when a young man who does not turn 17 until October 31 got to play alongside global stars and was rewarded with a hug from a beaming Messi.

His natural talent even seemed to have escaped his father, who told Partidazo de Cope last month: "At six or seven, he came to Spain. I had come here before and I didn't know he played football. They told me I was not aware of how good my son was and that he was dribbling by everybody."

When Fati was brought on to replace Carles Perez against Betis and became the second-youngest player to feature in LaLiga in the club's history behind Vicente Martinez, his father described it as "the happiest moment of my life". He had barely even believed it when he learned his son had been given a first-team call-up.

Playing for the club's Juvenil A side, Fati's main goal prior to the start of the season was to make some headway in the Barca B reckoning. Valdes even had to take him to buy new boots as his old ones were hurting his feet.

In less than a month, he has played three senior matches, scored two goals and set up another, broken club and division records and started a scramble from national team bosses eager to make sure he does not slip through the net.

"Remember the name, Ansu Fati, as more records are bound to fall," Barca said on their official website after the Valencia rout. They almost certainly will. For now, though, he'll rest and then get back to training to prepare for Borussia Dortmund next week.

He might need a lift – he won't be old enough to drive for another 13 months.

Clement Lenglet called for patience around Ansu Fati after the teenager's excellent display in Barcelona's 5-2 win over Valencia.

The 16-year-old marked his first Barca start with a goal and an assist inside seven minutes at Camp Nou on Saturday, adding to his maiden strike against Osasuna before the international break.

It made Fati the youngest player to score and assist in a single LaLiga game in the 21st century.

He was replaced by Luis Suarez in the 60th minute and the Uruguay international scored twice, with Frenkie de Jong and Gerard Pique also on target for Ernesto Valverde's side.

Asked about Fati after the match, defender Lenglet told Movistar: "He is 16 years old and we have to be calm with him. It's true that he has taken advantage of his minutes and is a good boy who deserves it.

"I am very happy for him, but we have to give him time because he is 16 years old and things can change quickly. I hope they don't but we have to take care of him.

"[I would advise him to] listen to people and work hard because playing for Barca is very difficult."

Kevin Gameiro was granted a goal after a lengthy VAR review of an offside decision before half-time, while Maxi Gomez opened his Valencia account in the second minute of stoppage time at the end of the game.

"It was a good victory against a difficult opponent who plays good football. They play different football to us but we did things very well," said Lenglet.

"We prefer not to concede goals, but we did things well until the end. On the whole we played a good game and although we conceded the response was important."

Antonio Conte has called on Inter to be more clinical after they only managed a 1-0 victory over 10-man Udinese on Saturday.

Inter moved to the top of Serie A, two points clear of Juventus, as their third win in as many matches was secured by Stefano Sensi's first-half header.

Sensi's goal followed Rodrigo De Paul being shown a red card, after referee Maurizio Mariani reviewed footage of him striking Antonio Candreva on the head away from the ball.

Romelu Lukaku failed to have a single shot at goal, while Alexis Sanchez was brought on for his debut with just 10 minutes remaining as the Nerazzurri scraped through.

"I congratulated the lads because it was a very difficult match against a strong team and these three points are important. We deserved them but must also recognise Udinese did well to stay in the game until the end," Conte told DAZN.

"We should've been more clinical and finished it off earlier, but instead we were always just hanging on.

"We know we have to fight. I read too much rubbish in the papers. We must go our own way without thinking about anything or anyone else. The truth is nothing is easy and we will never take anything for granted.

"I had warned the players that Udinese would take a very defensive approach and we had to be careful on counter-attacks. We've got to start moves from the back and we achieved that against a team that will cause problems for many opponents this season.

"We've got a long road ahead of us, we have a lot of work to do and won't get caught up in the euphoria, we are laying the groundwork. We want to be a tough team."

Ansu Fati produced another star performance as Barcelona routed Valencia 5-2 at Camp Nou on Saturday to close the gap to LaLiga leaders Atletico Madrid.

Winger Fati, just 16, got a goal and an assist for Frenkie de Jong in the first seven minutes of his full debut for the club, having become their youngest league goalscorer as a substitute in the draw with Osasuna last month.

Kevin Gameiro pulled one back for Valencia, who caused a shock this week when they sacked head coach Marcelino and replaced him with the inexperienced Albert Celades, but Gerard Pique effectively killed off the contest 51 minutes in.

Luis Suarez scored his first goal of the season with his second touch after coming on as a substitute and added a late second to seal the win, as Lionel Messi - still not risked following a calf injury - watched on approvingly. Maxi Gomez pinched a late consolation, his first Valencia goal.

In just the second minute, Fati met De Jong's cut-back and rifled home his first Camp Nou goal for the club.

He turned provider five minutes later, dancing his way into the box from the left and teeing up De Jong to open his account for the club with a powerful side-foot finish.

Barca appeared in total control but allowed Valencia a lifeline when Gameiro sprung the offside trap and slotted in off the left-hand post, a VAR review granting him a reprieve after the goal was initially disallowed.

Ernesto Valverde's side restored Barcelona's two-goal lead six minutes after the interval, as Pique pounced to tap home the rebound after Jasper Cillessen could only parry an Antoine Griezmann shot against the woodwork.

Nelson Semedo then rattled the other post as Suarez came on for Fati, and the Uruguay star promptly scored with his second touch of the ball, feinting before bending a shot into the bottom-left corner.

Suarez hit almost the same spot with eight minutes to go for Barca, further highlighting the difficult task awaiting Celades over the coming weeks.

What does it mean? Barca take advantage of Atletico slip-up

Atleti's 2-0 defeat to Real Sociedad earlier means there is not a single team in the division with a 100 per cent record this season, despite only four rounds of matches having been played.

Barca made the most of Atleti's loss to move within two points of the early league leaders, while the manner of the performance will give Valverde plenty of encouragement - particularly ahead of the start of the Champions League.

Fati's rise shows no sign of slowing

Fati started the season pushing for a regular place in Barca's B team, making his emergence under Valverde all the more remarkable.

He showed a clinical touch for his goal and some excellent wing play to set up De Jong, and went close with two further efforts from distance before departing to a standing ovation.

Cillessen's rotten return

In his first game at Camp Nou since leaving for Valencia in June, Cillessen made only one save in the first hour - and it left Pique with an easy finish on the rebound. It was not a happy homecoming.

What's next?

Barca begin Champions League duties away to Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, with a league trip to Granada to follow four days later. Valencia head to Chelsea before a home league meeting with Leganes.

Stefano Sensi's goal was the difference as Inter retained their 100 per cent record in Serie A by comfortably beating 10-man Udinese 1-0 on Alexis Sanchez's debut at San Siro.

A nine-minute spell before half-time proved decisive as Rodrigo de Paul was shown a red card for striking Antonio Candreva on the head following the intervention of VAR and Sensi nodded Inter ahead.

Romelu Lukaku endured a disappointing outing and made way for Lautaro Martinez in the 65th minute, before Sanchez replaced Matteo Politano to make his first appearance for the Nerazzurri against one of the forward's former clubs.

While Inter were unable add to their tally, they had already done enough to pick up a third straight win under Antonio Conte and move two points clear of Juventus at the top of the table.

Politano went close to putting Inter ahead in the fourth minute when his low drive from 25 yards struck the outside of the post.

Sensi saw a fine volley from the edge of the box pushed aside by Udinese goalkeeper Juan Musso, before Walace was kept out by Samir Handanovic at the other end.

Udinese were reduced to 10 men after 35 minutes when De Paul was shown a red card after referee Maurizio Mariani reviewed footage of his retaliation to Candreva appearing to touch his face.

Inter took advantage a minute before half-time, Sensi getting across Rodrigo Becao and heading a fine delivery from Diego Godin – making his first start since joining from Atletico Madrid – in off the underside of the crossbar.

Kevin Lasagna overpowered Godin but was thwarted by Handanovic, before Musso denied Politano and Roberto Gagliardini – a half-time replacement for Nicolo Barella – before the hour mark.

After Musso kept out a Sensi free-kick, an awkward fall for Politano paved the way for Sanchez to enter the fray to a great ovation with 10 minutes remaining.

Sanchez went close to marking his debut with a goal when Candreva's square pass fell to him in the six-yard box, but a scrambling Musso kept him at bay and Inter coasted to the final whistle.
 

What does it mean? Advantage Inter

With Juventus held to a 0-0 draw at Fiorentina earlier on Saturday, Inter opened up a gap over the reigning champions at the top of the table.

There is still a long way to go, but they are the only team to possess a 100 per cent record after playing three matches, though Torino could join them by beating Lecce on Monday.

Sensational Sensi

Lukaku and Sanchez were the headline arrivals at San Siro this season but Sensi continued to show he is a valuable addition. The midfielder, on loan from Sassuolo, provided great support to the strikers and took his goal brilliantly.

Lukaku off the boil

After scoring in each of his first two matches and finding the net for Belgium during the international break, Lukaku failed to get into the action in Milan. He had no shots, created no chances and had a passing accuracy of 61.1 per cent in a disappointing outing.

What's next?

Inter will be in Champions League action at home to Slavia Prague on Tuesday, while Udinese are not in action until the visit of Brescia next Saturday.

Bayern Munich coach Niko Kovac urged his side to be more ruthless after they were held 1-1 by RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga on Saturday.

Emil Forsberg scored from the spot to equalise for Leipzig after Robert Lewandowski's 199th goal for Bayern had put the visitors ahead.

Bayern are in third place in the Bundesliga table, two points behind leaders Leipzig.

"We have to do more with our superiority," Kovac said.

"In the end, the result is annoying. We had more chances, played well, but unfortunately two points less than planned.

"We played sensationally in the first half, that was the best performance so far. After that, we got ourselves into trouble.

"We're pulling the positives out of the game - we played a really good game."

Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer was disappointed with the reaction from his team-mates to Forsberg’s leveller.

"The 1-1 has thrown us back a little because we were so clearly superior," Neuer said.

"We did not recover from it well. We have to take the good points and analyse the bad things carefully."

Forsberg said nobody at Leipzig was getting carried away with their impressive start to the season.

"We are still developing," he said. "But to be the league leaders after four matchdays is very nice.

"The first half we ran a lot, but had little possession. Bayern have played very strong again.

"In the second half we were much better and got our game on the pitch as well."

Neymar claimed he can handle hostility from Paris Saint-Germain fans and "personal reasons" were behind his desire to quit the club.

The Brazil forward was jeered by PSG's supporters during Saturday's Ligue 1 victory over Strasbourg at the Parc des Princes.

Neymar secured all three points for his side with a spectacular bicycle kick in injury time.

He celebrated the goal but opted not to acknowledge the crowd at the full-time whistle as he quickly departed the pitch.

It was the 27-year-old’s first club appearance of the season, Neymar having not been selected by PSG coach Thomas Tuchel amid speculation over his future.

Neymar had reportedly hankered for a move to former club Barcelona only for it to not materialise before the transfer window closed.

A PSG ultra group accused Neymar of being "disrespectful" and condemned the way he "humiliated" the club with his behaviour during the saga.

However, the player insisted there were justifiable reasons behind his desire to leave as he vowed to ignore any antagonism.

"I've played in several stadiums being booed. It's sad, but I know from now on it's going to be like playing every game away from home," Neymar told reporters.

"I make it clear that I have nothing against the fans, nor anything against Paris Saint-Germain, but everyone knows I wanted to leave, and I made that clear.

"There were some reasons, mostly personal [for wanting to leave PSG]. I make it clear that it was nothing against PSG and not the fans. 

"But when you don't feel good at one job, you look for another. For personal reasons. I had mine, and I wanted to leave."

Neymar refused to delive into the specific reasons why he was unable to secure a move away from PSG.

But with his immediate future now with the defending French champions he has promised to draw a line under the transfer saga and give his all for PSG's cause.

"I will not go into details of what happened in the negotiations. The people here know what happened and this is a turned page," he added.

"I made it very clear to everyone and did my best, but unfortunately they didn't.

"Today I am a PSG player and I promise to give everything on the pitch, fulfil my role and be happy on the pitch. I repeat there are no problems.

"This is a turned page. This is the first time I'm talking about it, and it will be the last. From now on my head is in Paris."

Diego Simeone says he worries about "everything offensively and defensively" and admitted Atletico Madrid need to improve after seeing their 100 per cent start in LaLiga ended by Real Sociedad.

Atletico entered Saturday's contest, the first competitive fixture played at Sociedad's Reale Arena, having won their opening three league matches.

However, a fired-up Sociedad took all three points thanks to a deflected opener from Martin Odegaard and a debut goal for former Arsenal defender Nacho Monreal.

Atletico coach Simeone concedes there is work for his side to do.

"Everything worries me, I worry about anything that happens offensively and defensively," he said.

"We need to grow. We know what we have and what we are and where we need to go. LaLiga is very difficult, when you don't start a match how you should start, you lose.

"Since pre-season this is the first defeat, we need to improve and grow."

Simeone added that Atletico did not produce their best football until the game was already gone.

"The team wore its best face when already 2-0 [down]," he said. "In the final part [of the game] it's when we identified more with what we were doing."

Ansu Fati's extraordinary rise continued on Saturday as he got a goal and an assist within seven minutes of his first LaLiga start for Barcelona.

The 16-year-old became Barca's youngest ever goalscorer in the top flight when he came off the bench to score in the 2-2 draw with Osasuna prior to the international break.

With Luis Suarez fit enough only for the bench and Lionel Messi still not risked due to a calf problem, head coach Ernesto Valverde handed Fati his first start at Camp Nou for the visit of Valencia.

The winger responded by opening the scoring after only two minutes, drilling home from Frenkie de Jong's low cross from the right.

Barely five minutes later, Fati returned the favour to De Jong, cutting in from the left and squaring the ball for the Netherlands midfielder to score his first goal for the club.

Fati, who does not turn 17 until October 31, watched Barca's Juvenil A side face Girona on Saturday just hours before he started against Valencia.

Born in Bissau before moving to Spain with his family as a child, Fati joined Sevilla's youth academy before signing for Barca at the age of 10.

His father admitted on Partidazo de Cope last month that "Real Madrid offered me better conditions than Barcelona for my son" but that Barca convinced him to accept their offer after they visited his house.

"This is the happiest day of my life," he said after Fati's debut in the 5-2 victory over Real Betis. "When he told us he was being called up by Valverde I started to cry and my wife too. When he came on, we were on cloud nine.

"At six or seven, he came to Spain. I had come here before and I didn't know he played football. They told me I was not aware of how good my son was and that he was dribbling by everybody."

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