Osasuna 2-2 Barcelona: Fati makes history but champions fall short

By Sports Desk August 31, 2019

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.

Related items

  • Challengers make hay, CIC relegation woes worsen Challengers make hay, CIC relegation woes worsen

    Secondary Schools Football League (SSFL) Premier Division challengers, St Anthony’s College and Presentation College both took advantage of idle leaders and defending champions Naparima College with wins in Saturday’s round of games.

    Getting into the business end of the tournament, the defending champions will have to keep winning now, as St Anthony’s College are three points adrift of the leaders, while last season’s runners up, Presentation College are four points away, having played one less game.

    The difference between the teams if everybody keeps winning is just one point. Presentation kept things close by virtue of a 1-0 win over Trinity College East, while St Anthony’s kept up the pressure by dominating relegation-troubled Malick Secondary 4-1.

    At the other end of the table, St Mary’s College continue to find this season more than a little challenging, remaining rooted to the foot on four points after a 5-0 loss to Carapichaima East Secondary.

    In other games on Saturday, Pleasantville Secondary were 3-1 winners over Speyside, East Mucurapo College beat Trinity College Moka 5-2, while Queen’s Royal College clipped St Benedict’s College 1-0.

    San Juan North Secondary continued to do good work toward the top of the table, with a 3-1 win over St Augustine Secondary, leaving them lying seventh.

     

    Pos

    Team

    P

    W

    D

    L

    F

    A

    +-

    Pts

    1

    Naparima College

    11

    9

    2

    0

    30

    10

    20

    29

    2

    St Anthony's College

    11

    8

    2

    1

    35

    11

    24

    26

    3

    Presentation College

    10

    8

    1

    1

    26

    6

    20

    25

    4

    Carapichaima East Secondary

    11

    6

    4

    1

    21

    14

    7

    22

    5

    East Mucurapo Secondary

    11

    6

    3

    2

    23

    11

    12

    21

    6

    Queen's Royal College

    10

    6

    1

    3

    19

    20

    -1

    19

    7

    San Juan North Secondary

    11

    5

    2

    4

    26

    10

    16

    17

    8

    St Augustine Secondary

    11

    3

    4

    4

    26

    21

    5

    13

    9

    Pleasantville Secondary

    11

    4

    1

    6

    15

    17

    -2

    13

    10

    Trinity College East

    10

    3

    2

    5

    13

    17

    -4

    11

    11

    St Benedict's College

    11

    3

    1

    7

    12

    20

    -8

    10

    12

    Speyside Secondary

    11

    2

    2

    7

    14

    34

    -20

    8

    13

    Malick Secondary

    11

    2

    1

    8

    16

    26

    -10

    7

    14

    Trinity College Moka

    11

    1

    1

    9

    13

    38

    -25

    4

    15

    St Mary's College

    11

    1

    1

    9

    5

    39

    -34

    4

     

     

     

  • Real Madrid hurting after Mallorca loss, says Marcelo Real Madrid hurting after Mallorca loss, says Marcelo

    Marcelo said Real Madrid's shock loss to Real Mallorca "hurts" as the LaLiga giants lost top spot to defending champions Barcelona.

    Madrid crashed to their first LaLiga defeat of the season, with Zinedine Zidane's 10-man visitors succumbing to Lago Junior's early strike at Son Moix on Saturday.

    Bitter rivals Barca leapfrogged Madrid into top spot thanks to their win over Eibar earlier in the day, and left-back Marcelo lamented the result away from home.

    "We lost but we must keep going," Marcelo said. "It hurts to lose because we played well, but we conceded early on and then looked to make our comeback but it was not possible.

    "We did not have time to think, they scored a goal and they defended and waited for the counter, that's no excuse though.

    "We need to play well until the final whistle. We have won some games while lacking something. We're trying to do everything possible to win but LaLiga is tough these days."

    It was not the result Zidane had in mind following the international break as Madrid looked to preserve their lead atop the table.

    However, Mallorca's Lago stunned Madrid seven minutes into the match by finding the bottom-right corner.

    Karim Benzema hit the crossbar before substitute Rodrygo Goes squandered a presentable chance and Madrid's hopes of a comeback were all but over when Alvaro Odriozola saw red 16 minutes from the end, with Mallorca holding firm to claim their first win over Los Blancos since 2009.

    "We knew about Mallorca," Madrid goalkeeper Thibaut Courtois said. "The coach warned us they would come out with grit and real intensity. In the first five or 10 minutes, we were caught short. 

    "We had chances but lacked that final touch. The goal scorer is right footed and he sent it in at the far post. It is a shame, we should have won here."

    On Odriozola's dismissal, Courtois added: "In the first yellow [he] hit the ball, the second is fair. I think that at that time with a card there should be no foul, but hey, it is the adrenaline. Playing with 10 was more complicated."

  • Zidane won't say he is 'worried' by Mallorca defeat but demands Real Madrid show consistency Zidane won't say he is 'worried' by Mallorca defeat but demands Real Madrid show consistency

    Zinedine Zidane refused to say he is "worried" after Real Madrid lost to Real Mallorca but has called on his side to show greater consistency.

    Madrid's unbeaten start to the LaLiga season was ended at Son Moix on Saturday thanks to a solitary goal from Lago Junior.

    Zidane's side had beaten in-form Granada 4-2 prior to the international break, but his much-changed side struggled to create goalscoring chances against Mallorca as they fell to a defeat that leaves them a point behind league leaders Barcelona.

    The Madrid head coach said it is a lack of consistent performances that is holding his side back at present, even if he is not overly concerned by the result.

    "The problem is that we have to show every three days that we're good," Zidane said. "That's the difficulty - we don't do it.

    "I won't say that I'm worried because I don't like the word, but if we want to win something this season, we need consistency."

    Madrid were without the injured Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Gareth Bale and Lucas Vazquez, with Luka Jovic failing to impress in only his third league start for the club as Zidane set his side up in a 4-4-2.

    Zidane insisted the absences were no excuse for their display as he laid down a challenge to his squad players to step up a show they are worthy of a place in the team.

    "The injuries aren't an excuse," Zidane said. "There are players who aren't injured; we have more good payers, too.

    "When it comes to their turn, they have to show that they're at the level to be here. We can't do anything about the injured players.

    "We can't be surprised by a team playing in their own stadium. We knew what would happen. They surprised us because they scored, but then they backed down and we didn't find a solution."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.