Barcelona earned a vital La Liga victory on Sunday night, overcoming Valencia 3-1 courtesy of goals from Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho.
A fairly uneventful start was lit up on five minutes when Jose Gaya was first to latch onto a cleared corner, before firing in a thunderbolt of a half volley into Marc-Andre ter Stegen's bottom corner to open the scoring.
La Blaugrana were not behind for long, however, equalising just nine minutes later. Fati and Depay linked up seamlessly in the final third, before the former placed a sublime curling effort into the far corner from outside the area.
Gaya turned from hero to villain for the visitors with five minutes remaining of the first period. The Valencia skipper made a last-ditch attempt at denying Fati in front of goal, although mistimed his challenge and hacked down the 18-year-old as he was pulling the trigger. The responsibility from the spot fell onto the shoulders of Depay, who fired his penalty into the top corner.
Valencia threatened to pull level throughout the second half, although it was the hosts that managed to bag the fourth goal of the contest. A breakaway move saw Sergino Dest with the ball on the right wing, before brilliantly making space for himself under pressure and finding Coutinho in the box. The Brazilian was unmarked in front of goal, giving him time to pick his spot and find the back of the net to make sure of the victory with minutes remaining.
The win kicks off a huge week in Barcelona's season in the perfect way and moves the side up to seventh in La Liga's table, sitting on 15 points from their opening eight games. Now, let's see how La Blaugrana rated.
Barcelona player ratings
1. Goalkeeper & defenders
Marc-Andre ter Stegen (GK) - 6/10 - Got a hand to Gaya's strike but could hardly have been expected to keep it out. Made a Manuel Neuer-esque save from Goncalo Guedes in the second half, although wasn't troubled all that much.
Sergi Roberto (RB) - 6/10 - Ventured forward willingly and occasionally linked up with his team mates nicely. Tenacious in his pressing, making three tackles, but was often caught out of position and looked a little frazzled at times.
Eric Garcia (CB) - 6/10 - Not too much defensive action to recall, apart from a couple of blocks that have definitely left his thighs sore. Looked assured for the most part and used possession nicely, registering a passing accuracy of 92%.
Gerard Pique (CB) - 7/10 - Always tight to his man and remained composed against the daunting physical battle with Maxi Gomez. Had one glorious moment late on, keeping his cool to take a touch and release the ball to Jordi Alba while under pressure in front of his own goal. Audacious.
Jordi Alba (LB) - 7/10 - Had a subtle impact in offensive areas, although his standout contribution came on the back foot. A stoic performance at left-back, fighting valiantly to stifle Valencia attacks and cut out crosses from wide, registering four ball recoveries and four clearances.
Sergio Busquets (DM) - 7/10 - Incredibly silky and tidy in possession, seemingly freezing time when searching for a progressive out-ball. At times seemed isolated in defensive situations, although still managed to rack up four ball recoveries and provided a solid screen for the most part.
Gavi (CM) - 7/10 - Industrious as ever, sometimes proving a little too enthusiastic in his pressing. Showed excellent awareness throughout, picking up useful pockets of space to facilitate nostalgic glimpses of tiki-taka football - notably having an integral role in the build up to Fati's equaliser.
Frenkie de Jong (CM) - 7/10 - Bright and lively from the outset, showing fantastic late and elusive movement from deep while also brilliantly driving and surging through opposition lines on the ball.
Sergino Dest (RW) - 6/10 - Comfortable operating in such an advanced position, often aiming to run directly at the Valencia defence. Was tough to mark, although couldn't quite provide the quality from wide areas.
Memphis Depay (ST) - 7/10 - Good fluid movement which eventually payed off as he provided a slick assist for his side's first. Got on the scoresheet himself with a thumping penalty to make it 2-1.
Ansu Fati (LW) - 8/10 - Well, you just knew it was gonna happen. Although a lot of what he attempted didn't come off, his sheer fearlessness and persistence resulted in a sublime finish to level the score, before his fantastic movement won his side the penalty from which they pulled ahead.
Philippe Coutinho (LW) - 7/10 - Vibrant and always threatening to make something happen. Eventually slotted home to seal the win late on.
Oscar Mingueza (RB) - 6/10
Nico Gonzalez (CM) - 6/10
Sergio Aguero (ST) - N/A