Ansu Fati became Barcelona's youngest LaLiga goalscorer as they came from behind but could only draw 2-2 with Osasuna in Saturday's clash at El Sadar.

The 16-year-old cancelled out Roberto Torres' opener just six minutes after coming off the bench, before fellow substitute Arthur buried a well-taken second goal for the defending league champions.

Torres sealed a point from the penalty spot after a Gerard Pique handball, though, with the result likely to add further pressure to Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde was again unable to call upon the injured Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez or Ousmane Dembele and left Ivan Rakitic on the bench.

The match was preceded by a minute's silence for Luis Enrique's daughter Xana, who died this week after a five-month battle with bone cancer.

Torres put Osasuna ahead in the seventh minute with the first shot of the match, thumping a volley past Marc-Andre ter Stegen at the left-hand post after being left completely unmarked.

It proved to be the only effort on target of the first half, as Barca produced next to nothing of note with their dominance of possession, although Jordi Alba felt he should have won a penalty.

Fati came on for Nelson Semedo at the break and Valverde's reshuffle paid dividends, the 16-year-old converting Carles Perez's cross with a fine header.

Barcelona were suddenly galvanised and it was 2-1 13 minutes later, Arthur cutting back onto his right foot and drilling past goalkeeper Ruben Martinez from just inside the area.

Brandon wasted a glorious chance to level when he made a mess of a free header, but Torres made no such mistake from 12 yards after Pique was penalised for blocking a cross with a raised arm.

What does it mean? Valverde pressure mounting despite faith in youngsters

Valverde has been criticised in the past - not always fairly - for a perceived reluctance to trust La Masia prospects within his first team.

With Messi, Suarez and Dembele injured and Antoine Griezmann not in the game, it fell to Perez and Fati to combine for the equaliser here.

The fact it was two youngsters that made a difference might just ward off some of the coach's critics, but results such as this will not keep the wolves from the door for long.

Perez a persistent menace

Having been the brightest player in an insipid first-half Barca display, it was fitting that Perez should set up Fati for his fine equaliser.

The 21-year-old is fast becoming an important player for the Catalans and should continue to be so if, as expected, Neymar does not return before the transfer window closes.

Griezmann goes missing

The service to Griezmann was not exactly of consistent quality, but this was a worryingly anonymous performance from the €120m forward.

What's next?

Barca host Valencia on September 14, when they hope to have Messi available again. Osasuna travel to Real Valladolid a day later.

Ansu Fati became Barcelona's youngest LaLiga goalscorer and the third-youngest in the competition's history against Osasuna on Saturday.

The 16-year-old came off the bench at half-time at El Sadar and made it 1-1 six minutes later, burying Carles Perez's cross with a fine header.

It was an historic moment for Fati, who last week became the second-youngest player to appear for Barca in the top flight when he came on for Perez in the 5-2 defeat of Real Betis at Camp Nou.

Fati takes the record as Barca's youngest scorer from Bojan Krkic, who wrote on Twitter: "It's always a great joy to see boys from the Masia enjoying and achieving their dreams. Congratulations for your record, Ansu!"

Only former Malaga forward Fabrice Olinga and Athletic Bilbao star Iker Munian were younger when they scored for the first time in LaLiga.

Born in Guinea-Bissau, Ansu arrived at Barca in 2013 at the age of 10 and recently signed a contract that will keep him at the club until June 2022.

After his outing against Betis, his father told RAC1: "I have seen him make his debut for Barca; I can die happily. It will not be the first time; there will be many more appearances."

Atletico Madrid have been busy during the transfer window and they may be aiming to land another star attacker.

It appears the LaLiga giants, who have gone through a rebuild, are targeting unwanted Inter forward Mauro Icardi.

With Joao Felix having made an impressive start in Madrid, Atletico may strengthen yet again before the transfer window shuts on Monday.

 

TOP STORY – ATLETICO LOOK TO SIGN ICARDI ON LOAN

Atletico Madrid are negotiating a deal to sign Icardi on loan from Inter, according to ESPN FC.

The report says the deal for Icardi, who has been linked with Juventus and Napoli, would include an option to buy for €70million.

The Argentina international has been heavily linked with a move away from San Siro and doesn't appear to fit into the plans of new coach Antonio Conte.


ROUND-UP

- There is still plenty to play out on the Neymar front. Paris Saint-Germain still want Ousmane Dembele as part of any deal with Barcelona, according to RAC1. Meanwhile, Sport report Neymar is still optimistic and confident of a return to Camp Nou.

- Fernando Llorente has made a decision on his future. AS and Sport report the striker, who has been a free agent since leaving Tottenham, has agreed a deal to sign with Napoli.

- Giorgio Chiellini's knee injury could lead to some late movement from Juventus. The Serie A champions are interested in Barcelona defender Samuel Umtiti, according to Sport.

- AC Milan are looking to bolster their attack before the window closes. Gianluca Di Marzio reports the Serie A side are considering two options – Atletico Madrid's Angel Correa or Gremio's Everton – before the window shuts.

- The moves look set to continue at Manchester United. The Sun reports Matteo Darmian is set to join Parma in a €1.6m (£1.4m) deal, ending his four-season stay at Old Trafford.

Paris Saint-Germain sporting director Leonardo insisted Neymar's potential move to Barcelona was not yet "dead", but admitted there was still no agreement.

Neymar, 27, has been heavily linked with a return to Camp Nou, just two years after his world-record €222million move from Barca to PSG.

Speaking after PSG's 2-0 Ligue 1 win over Metz on Friday, Leonardo said there was still time to get a deal done with the LaLiga champions before the transfer window closes on Monday.

"The negotiations aren't dead but there is no agreement because our requests haven't been accepted," he told reporters.

"We are open to talking about players, but there is no agreement.

"The position of PSG and Neymar has always been clear, if a satisfactory offer arrived then he could leave, but that is not the case."

There have been reports of numerous different offers from Barcelona, who are apparently willing to give up players as part of a deal for Neymar.

But Leonardo revealed the first official offer from the Spanish giants had only arrived days ago.

"The first written proposal of Barca was on August 27," he said.

Asked if there will be an agreement by Monday, Leonardo said: "I don't know. It depends on Barcelona."

All LaLiga matches this weekend will hold a minute's silence in memory of Xana, the daughter of Luis Enrique.

The former Barcelona boss confirmed on Thursday that his daughter had died at the age of nine after a five-month battle with bone cancer.

Clubs and players from Spain and beyond offered their condolences to Luis Enrique and his family, with Barca holding their own moment of silence before training on Friday.

LaLiga has now confirmed there will be tributes prior to every match in the top two divisions this weekend in a show of support for the former Spain head coach.

"A minute of silence will be held ahead of all LaLigaSantander and LaLigaSmartBank matches this weekend in memory of Xana, daughter of Luis Enrique," a statement issued on Twitter said.

Spain postponed a news conference, which had been scheduled to take place after their latest international squad was announced, as a sign of "love and respect" for the grieving family.

Barca boss Ernesto Valverde told reporters: "It's difficult to find adequate words to comfort people going through something so tough.

"But I want to offer all of our affection and support for him, for his family, from everyone who is part of Barca and to send him a huge hug."

Juan Miranda has joined Schalke on a two-season loan from LaLiga champions Barcelona.

Miranda, a highly rated defender who made 23 league appearances for Barcelona B last season, featured on the bench four times for the senior team in 2018-19 and played three times in the Copa del Rey and once in the Champions League.

The 19-year-old is due to be in the Bundesliga until 2021, with Schalke making Miranda their 10th signing of the window.

"Juan is one of the most talented left-backs in Spanish football right now. As a youngster, he has been a regular in Spain's Under-19 side and has also played for Barcelona's first team," head coach David Wagner told Schalke's official website.

"It's amazing that we've signed him. We will give him the time to adjust to life here in Germany so that he can reach his full sporting potential here."

"I'm happy that the deal is now done. I hope that we can have a good season and I can play my part," said Miranda, who will wear the number three shirt for his new club.

Miranda's Barca contract expires in 2021 but is extendable by two more years, with a €200million release clause included.

Schalke, who lost 3-0 to Bayern Munich last week, host Hertha Berlin on Saturday looking for their first win of the season.

Barcelona great Andres Iniesta has revealed how his father has been the biggest influence on his professional career.

The 35-year-old established his place as one of the world's finest midfielders during a 16-year senior career at Camp Nou.

Iniesta won nine LaLiga titles - only Lionel Messi, with 10, has more - among 32 titles with Barca, for whom he registered 35 goals and 87 assists in 442 league appearances.

He also won two European Championships and the 2010 World Cup with Spain, scoring the winning goal in the final of the latter against Netherlands in Johannesburg.

His success marks quite the journey for Iniesta, who was born in the village of Fuentealbilla close to Albacete in 1984 and first joined Barca's famed La Masia academy at the age of 12.

Iniesta, now at Vissel Kobe in Japan, credits his father as the most important figure in his footballing life.

"My father was the most important figure for my career," said Iniesta, courtesy of LaLiga. "He was not my coach, not at all, but from very small I was always with him, he was the first who gave me a plastic football out on the patio of our house.

"I always listened to him. He has given me his advice. Above all, he would always tell me that the most important opinion was that of my coach. I had to do what the coach told me, and that has always been very important."

He continued: "I've always been very clear about what I wanted to do, that has always been the most important for me. The principal objective has always been to learn things to become a better player, respect those around me always. That has been my path.

"Maybe I would have done some things differently, I don't know. There are things I did well, others not so well, but that's life. When you make mistakes, you can correct them, and move forward.

Amid his numerous collective and individual titles, Iniesta ranks his debut as his top LaLiga moment.

"I had the opportunity to play for many years, to experience unique moments, winning La Liga titles, winning important games, Clasicos and others," he said. "There were difficult moments, but in general it was great. To be so long at such a high level, in the best league, was a real source of pride for me.

"As I like beginnings, my most iconic moment was my LaLiga debut against Mallorca, and then playing at the Camp Nou against Recreativo de Huelva."

He also holds fond memories of playing alongside a series of top Spain internationals during his Camp Nou days.

"Sergio Busquets, Jordi Alba, Xavi, Carles Puyol, David Villa… the good thing about football is that you meet great people and you share many things with them over many years," he said. "Some of them you stay in touch with, others you don't, but there are always great memories."

Iniesta does admit it is important to hold interests outside of football, however.

"You never have that much spare time as a footballer, and even less these days," he added. "You try and have some hobbies or pastimes, things that fill your time away from the game. The bodega [winery] that our family have had since 2010 is a very nice project. There is also the 'Mikakus' range of trainers. We try and do different social projects, things that keep you excited and interested."

Lionel Messi is expected to return for Barcelona in the LaLiga match with Valencia after the international break, head coach Ernesto Valverde has confirmed.

The Argentina star has not made a competitive appearance for Barca since last season's defeat to Marcelino's side in the Copa del Rey final.

A calf injury sustained shortly before their pre-season double-header with Napoli in the United States saw Messi miss the 1-0 defeat to Athletic Bilbao and the 5-2 win over Real Betis with which the champions began their 2019-20 campaign.

The 32-year-old will not be risked against Osasuna on Saturday and will instead be given more time to recover fully ahead of a busy run of games in September.

After the international break, which begins next week, Barca host Valencia, travel to Borussia Dortmund for their opening Champions League group game and then face Granada and Villarreal, all within the space of 11 days.

"He's following a normal recovery process," Valverde said of Messi on Friday. "We hope he can be available against Valencia. We hope to have him but we'll see how the injury evolves in these two weeks."

Valverde had earlier been keen to offer his condolences to former Barca head coach Luis Enrique and his family following the death of his daughter Xana.

The ex-Spain boss confirmed on Thursday that Xana had passed away at the age of nine after a five-month battle with bone cancer.

"It's difficult to find adequate words to comfort people going through something so tough," Valverde said. "But I want to offer all of our affection and support for him, for his family, from everyone who is part of Barca and to send him a huge hug."

Maybe, just maybe, the Neymar transfer saga is coming to an end.

The Brazilian's future has dominated the headlines over recent weeks as Barcelona try to re-sign the wantaway Paris Saint-Germain superstar.

With the September 2 deadline looming, Barca may have struck a deal…

 

TOP STORY – BARCA AND PSG REACH NEYMAR AGREEMENT

According to BBC Sport, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain have agreed terms on the value of Neymar.

The two clubs have reportedly settled on a figure of €200million for a player who left Camp Nou in a world-record €222m deal in 2017.

The LaLiga champions are also willing to offer Jean-Clair Todibo, Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele on a season-long loan, though all three players still have to agree terms.

 

ROUND-UP

- According to Gianluca di Marzio, Atletico Madrid have made an enquiry for Inter outcast Mauro Icardi. However, the race seems to be between Napoli and Monaco, who are both reportedly prepared to pay €65million for the former Inter captain.

- A swap deal involving Keylor Navas and Alphonse Areola is close to completion. RMC says Paris Saint-Germain goalkeeper Areola has reached an agreement with Real Madrid. Marca, meanwhile, says Navas will sign a three-year deal with PSG.

Parma are confident of signing Manchester United full-back Matteo Darmian, says Alfredo Pedulla. Former Torino defender Darmian has been virtually non-existent at Old Trafford in recent months.

- Radio Marte reporter Dario Sarnataro claims Chelsea have offered Michy Batshuayi to Napoli. The 25-year-old striker has recently spent time on loan at Borussia Dortmund, Valencia and Crystal Palace.

- Manchester United defender Chris Smalling is on the verge of moving to Roma on loan, according to widespread reports in Italy and England.

- Arsenal midfielder Mohamed Elneny is set to join Besiktas on a season-long loan, says Goal.com. The Egypt international only made 17 appearances last season. Il Messaggero, meanwhile, claims the Gunners and Tottenham are both monitoring Roma star Cengiz Under.

Neymar will "return to Barcelona and become the player he always was" if he leaves Paris Saint-Germain as Patrice Evra defended the Brazilian superstar.

LaLiga champions Barcelona are reportedly negotiating with PSG to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, just two years after his world-record €222million transfer.

Neymar – who is also believed to be attracting interest from Real Madrid – is yet to feature for PSG this season, while the 27-year-old was the subject of criticism by the club's fans during the August 11 fixture against Nimes.

Former Manchester United and Juventus left-back Evra criticised the treatment of Neymar as he leapt to his defence.

"I think Neymar, there are a lot of people who don't like him," Evra said. "The problem in this world is that when you are yourself, people hate you, and when you lie, people love you.

"Neymar, I often speak with him and I wish that God would realise his plans. It's always like that, when you arrive you are the king of the world, and when you leave... Looks like Neymar murdered someone. This is not the case.

"You'll see, people miss Neymar for his genius, his way of playing. It's true that with his dribbling, he sometimes gets annoyed, but it's his football, he has to stay himself. And I assure you, people will regret him very much."

Evra added: "It's simple, a football player must feel loved. When you feel too much negativity, you leave."

"There are people, and maybe even the media, who use that, who criticise him for diving too much during the games," Evra continued. "They create all this hatred around him. But Neymar is a good guy. He gave a lot to Paris.

"And then I'll tell you, we're talking about Neymar, but when Neymar didn't play in the Champions League, Paris didn't go any further. Neymar was not there for the two semi-finals. Neymar is too important for the PSG to lose him.

"I don't know if they're going to lose him, but if they do, they'll lose a great player. And he will return to Barcelona and become the player he always was."

Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries.

In total, Neymar has managed 51 goals in 58 games for PSG – who will be without the Barca target against Metz on Friday.

Barcelona defender Gerard Pique believes Harry Maguire can help lead Manchester United back to the top of the Premier League.

Maguire replaced Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk as the world's most expensive defender when he left Leicester City for United before the Premier League transfer window closed.

Not since Alex Ferguson's final season in 2013 have United won the Premier League but former defender Pique backed Maguire to help the Red Devils challenge for silverware.

"It happened before with Van Dijk and before about 10 years ago with Rio Ferdinand [when he joined United from Leeds]," Pique told Express Sport.

"Culturally they invest a lot in good defenders and Harry Maguire is a great defender.

"I hope that they can be at the top again. Manchester United in the last few years they have been fighting to qualify for the Champions League but they have to be trying to win the Premier League.

"I hope with this signing they can return to the top."

United have experienced a mixed start to the 2019-20 campaign in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's first full season as manager.

After routing Chelsea 4-0 in their Premier League opener, United drew at Wolves before suffering a shock defeat against visiting Crystal Palace last week.

Pique spent four years at United – where he was in the same squad as Solskjaer – before returning to boyhood club Barcelona in 2008.

The 32-year-old Pique, who won the Premier League and Champions League during his time at Old Trafford, was asked about Solskjaer and he added: "I saw him last year in the Champions League tie and I think he's a great lad and a great guy.

"He is doing a very good job at Manchester United, let's see this season how it goes for him and the team."

Borussia Dortmund and Inter are relishing taking on Barcelona in this season's Champions League group stage following Thursday's draw.

The three clubs were paired alongside Czech champions Slavia Prague in Group F, with the action set to get under way in mid-September.

Dortmund captain Reus said he and his team-mates had been hoping to draw LaLiga holders Barca, who have not reached the final in any of the past four years.

"A few of us from the team were stood together at breakfast this morning and we all agreed that we'd love to draw Barcelona," Reus said on UEFA's official website.

"Buzzing that it's actually happened! Obviously the group is extremely difficult; we're coming up against teams who we've not tested ourselves against in recent years.

"The games against Barcelona will have a party atmosphere for us and our fans! We believe in our quality and our aim is to go through."

Serie A side Inter have been drawn in the same group as Barcelona for the second successive season.

Inter finished third behind group winners Barca last term, but Nerazzurri vice-president Javier Zanetti feels they can thrive under new head coach Antonio Conte.

"Barcelona have been protagonists in the Champions League for a very long time, they have players of extraordinary value but there are also two other strong opponents in the group," Zanetti told Inter's official website.

"We will have to play our cards and see what happens on the field. We are a well-built team, we have purchased experienced players and we must aim to make a good group to win the round of 16. There are the conditions to do well, we face great teams but we are Inter.

"Against Lecce [a 4-0 win] I saw a team that will always try to make the match and this. It is an important point: the coach is very happy with the work of the boys, he knows that a demanding season is waiting for us, but he has brought the right mentality.

"You know how football lives, he transmitted to the team all his enthusiasm and his desire to win."

Luis Enrique has announced his daughter Xana has died after suffering from bone cancer.

The former Spain coach stepped down in June after missing their three previous matches, having been granted leave in March for what was described as a family emergency.

Robert Moreno was confirmed as Luis Enrique's successor, although Luis Rubiales, head of the Royal Spanish Football Federation (RFEF) said: "Our doors will always be open to him".

On Thursday, the ex-Barcelona boss confirmed nine-year-old Xana has passed away.

"Our daughter Xana has died this afternoon at the age of nine, after fighting for five intense months against an osteosarcoma," he said in a statement posted on Twitter.

"We give thanks for all the shows of affection we've received during these months and we're grateful for the discretion and understanding.

"We are also grateful to the staff of the Sant Joan de Deu and Sant Pau hospitals for their dedication and treatment, to the doctors, nurses and all the volunteers. With a special mention to the palliative care team of Sant Joan de Deu.

"We'll miss you a lot but we'll remember you every day of our lives with the hope that in the future we will meet each other again. You will be the star that guides our family.

"Rest, Xanita."

Spain striker Alvaro Morata wrote on Twitter: "There are no words that can comfort you in these tough moments, boss, but from here we send you all the strength and love in the world. May Xana rest in peace."

Real Madrid and Spain defender Nacho Fernandez said: "All the courage, strength and support in the world right now boss."

Barcelona also offered support, saying: "Our condolences and all our sympathy for Luis Enrique and his family at this very difficult time. RIP Xana."

Real Madrid, for whom Luis Enrique played for five years, said: "Real Madrid are deeply saddened by the passing of Luis Enrique's daughter and would like to share our condolences to him and his family at this difficult time."

The RFEF said: "The RFEF mourns the sad loss of little Xana, only nine years old, daughter of the coach and international player with Spain, Luis Enrique. We want to show our condolences to family and friends, joining us all today in their pain."

Roma also expressed condolences towards their former coach, as did tennis star Rafael Nadal and Spain's prime minister.

Barcelona are still open to concluding a deal with Paris Saint-Germain for Neymar, according to club spokesperson Guillermo Amor.

PSG sporting director Leonardo has confirmed Neymar wants to leave the club, two years after he joined from Barca for a world-record fee of €222million.

A return to Barca has been mooted for the Brazil superstar, while LaLiga rivals Real Madrid are also reportedly interested.

Time is running out to do a deal for the 27-year-old, though, as the European transfer window closes on Monday.

Some outlets claimed Barca have reached an agreement with PSG. However, reports in France then suggested this was premature.

Ousmane Dembele is believed to have been offered to PSG as part of the deal, although the forward's agent has said he wants to stay at Camp Nou.

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic is also reportedly involved in a cash-plus-players transfer, but further complicating matters is PSG needing to secure a replacement for Neymar.

While Amor was unwilling to give details about the ongoing talks, he hinted Barca will keep the door open for Neymar to come back for as long as possible.

"It's a topic it's not good to talk about," Amor said to Movistar. 

"There is nothing to be commented on. We'll see [what happens] until Tuesday."

Amor was speaking to the media after Thursday's Champions League draw, which pitted Barca against Dembele's old club Borussia Dortmund, who now have Paco Alcacer in attack, as well as Inter and Slavia Prague.

European success will be demanded of Ernesto Valverde's side after two successive frustrating campaigns since he took charge, with Barca throwing away a 3-0 lead against Liverpool in the semi-finals last term.

"It is a strong group. I have always had a lot of respect for Slavia. It is a powerful group," Amor added.

"In the end it depends on how you get there. We really want to face it, we will go for this competition again.

"We have the experience from last year and the others, we will have a lot of concentration and mentally we will be strong."

Juventus forward Cristiano Ronaldo thinks Lionel Messi has pushed him to become a better player and says he enjoys a "good relationship" with the Barcelona star.

The pair dominated the Ballon d'Or voting for a decade, winning it five times apiece before Luka Modric broke their stranglehold last year.

Messi and Ronaldo were second and third respectively for the UEFA Men's Player of the Year award for 2019, which was won by Virgil van Dijk.

Ronaldo swapped Real Madrid for Juventus in 2018 and Messi recently confessed he has missed having the Portugal international in LaLiga.

Speaking at UEFA's award ceremony ahead of Thursday's Champions League draw, Ronaldo thanked Messi for helping to raise his game and vowed to maintain his high performance levels.

"We have shared the stage [for] 15 years. I don't know if that's happened before - the same two guys, all the time," he said.

"We had that battle in Spain, I pushed him, and he pushed me. So, it's good to be part of the history of football.

"Of course, we have a good relationship. We haven't had dinner together yet, but maybe in the future!

"Leo is two years younger than me but I look good for my age. I hope to be here next year, and in two or three. People who don't like me will continue to see me here."

Messi, sitting alongside Ronaldo at the glitzy ceremony in Monaco, pipped Ronaldo to be named the Forward of the Season for the 2018-19 Champions League.

"With Cristiano, it was a beautiful rivalry," he said.

"It's nice to score goals. The goal is always to try to do things to win, before scoring. But if you can win and score, then [it's] better."

Page 6 of 110
© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.