Madrid (AFP)

Ronald Koeman can breathe: on the verge of the crisis before this weekend, FC Barcelona was reassured on Sunday by outclassing Levante 3-0 at Camp Nou for the 7th day of La Liga, and temporarily climbs to 5th place in a ranking dominated by Real Madrid.

The Catalans can thank their recruits: Barça opened the scoring in the 7th minute thanks to a penalty caused and transformed by Memphis Depay (7th), then doubled the lead in the 14th thanks to a goal from Luuk de Jong, who opened his counter under the blaugrana jersey.

Dutch Barcelona striker Memphis Depay tries to dribble Levante goalkeeper Aitor Fernandez during their LaLiga match on September 26, 2021 at Camp Nou LLUIS GENE AFP

And it was the revenant Ansu Fati, back on the field 322 days and 4 operations after his left knee meniscus fracture contracted on November 7, 2020 against Sevilla Betis, who scored the goal 3-0 in the 90th + 1, wearing the N.10 inherited from Lionel Messi.

Announced close to the exit by the Catalan media, Barça coach Ronald Koeman, in the stands on Sunday after being excluded at the end of the match in Cadiz on Thursday (0-0) and replaced by his assistant Alfred Schreuder, managed to return the situation three days from an already crucial match in the Champions League, in Lisbon against Benfica, Wednesday (21:00).

For the first time since the Dutchman arrived a year ago, the Blaugranas have managed to score two goals in the first 15 minutes of a meeting.

- Ansu Fati, returning and goalscorer -

And the strong choices of ex-coach Oranje paid off: Koeman decided to start Nico and Gavi around captain Sergio Busquets in the midfield, and the two hopes (respectively 19 and 17 years old, 1st and 2nd starts) were up, multiplying vertical passes to their attackers.

And other players have also resurfaced like Busquets himself, and Sergino Dest, excellent in his left lane.

Faced with a non-existent opponent, the Catalans have returned to their game. Barca have won all 15 appearances they have played in their La Liga stadium against Levante, scoring more than three goals per game on average.

And the Camp Nou audience was smiling again when the prodigy Ansu Fati entered the field.

Victim of a meniscus fracture of the left knee against Real Betis on November 7, 2020, the young Blaugrana diamond (18 years old) took nearly a year to heal himself, and came into play in the 81st minute all smiles, in place of Luuk de Jong ... and was decisive from the start.

Barcelona midfielder Ansu Fati scores the third goal against Levante, during their LaLiga match, on September 26, 2021 at Camp Nou LLUIS GENE AFP

Fati celebrated his goal with an angry fist as he was carried as a hero by his teammates, before going directly to thank Barca's doctor on the bench.

Barcelona midfielder Ansu Fati is congratulated by his teammates after scoring the third goal against Levante, during their LaLiga match, on September 26, 2021 at Camp Nou LLUIS GENE AFP

A full and salutary match for Barça, before a decisive month: after the perilous trip to Lisbon on Wednesday, Koeman's men will face Atlético Madrid and Valencia CF in the league, Dynamo Kiev in C1, then play the first clasico de Liga at home against Real Madrid on October 24.

© 2021 AFP

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