Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman was full of praise for his forwards after seeing his side run out 4-0 winners over Villarreal in his first La Liga game in charge on Sunday.
Teenager Ansu Fati struck twice and won a penalty which Lionel Messi converted to make it 3-0 after just 35 minutes at the Camp Nou. Villarreal defender Pau Torres then netted an own goal as Barca sealed a comfortable victory.
Koeman took time out after the match to praise Fati in particular after yet another eye-catching performance from the 17-year-old Spain international.
“I think his game, his match, his performance must be highlighted … I am very happy with him. We know that he is only 17 years old and has to improve things. He has to seek regularity in his game and in his performance. Sometimes he lacks concentration. Against Elche it was not so good, but today it was. He had a great match.”
Fati has now scored seven goals in his last nine starts for club and country, according to Opta. He has also won two penalties in his last two matches as a starter.
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Koeman Talks Up Griezmann
Koeman also talked up Griezmann and was not at all bothered that the France international was not on the scoresheet on the night. Instead, the Dutch coach highlighted his versatility and ability to cause problems for opponents.
“I don’t care if he scores or not, I’m very happy with Griezmann’s performance. Griezmann can play in different positions in attack. I think he has worked very well, also defensively. I’m very happy with his performance. The most important thing is that the team has won. It doesn’t matter who scores the goals.”
The Dutch coach also addressed speculation Barcelona will try to bring in a replacement for Luis Suarez before the close of the transfer window. Barca continue to be linked with moves for either Memphis Depay or Lautaro Martinez and Koeman did not rule out a new signing.
“It is always good to have a fixed nine, to have a different game plan. We are working, hopefully we can have one.”
Barcelona have until October 5 to bring in new signings and play two La Liga games before the window closes. Next up is a trip to Celta Vigo before Barcelona return to the Camp Nou to take on Sevilla.