Aguero makes debut as Barcelona rally to beat Valencia 3-1

MADRID (AP) – Ansu Fati, Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho scored as Barcelona ended their losing streak by rallying to beat Valencia 3-1 in the Spanish league on Sunday.

The struggling Catalan club moved to seventh place, five points behind leaders Real Sociedad and one game less.

Barcelona were coming off two defeats before the international break – 2-0 at Atlético Madrid in the league and 3-0 at Benfica in the Champions League. He had won only once in his last six matches in all competitions.

The defeat extended Valencia’s winless streak to five matches. He fell to ninth place in the championship.

José Luis Gayà opened the scoring for the visitors with a powerful long-distance shot five minutes into the game at the Camp Nou stadium, but Fati equalized from outside the area in the 13th and set up the penalty. transformed by Depay in the 41st.

Coutinho, marred with injuries since returning to Barcelona, ​​sealed victory at close range in the 85th for his first goal with the Catalan club in almost a year. US defender Sergiño Dest passed for the Brazilian.

Fate came out in the final minutes to allow the debut for Sergio Aguero, who was signed by Barcelona from Manchester City for this season but had yet to play as he was recovering from an injury.

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman was back on the bench after being suspended for two league games following a red card for complaint.

Barcelona have started a three-game home stint which Koeman has called the key to getting the team back on track. He will then play a critical Champions League match against Dynamo Kiev on Wednesday, followed by the first “clásico” of the season against Real Madrid.

“It was a very important victory, we are in a key week of the season,” said Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong. “We started well by gaining points and building confidence, that’s very important for the club at the moment.”

Barcelona are two points behind Madrid, Sevilla, Osasuna and defending champion Atlético Madrid. Madrid and Atlético saw their weekend games postponed as some players were in international service with their national teams.

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Barcelona delegate members approved the club’s financial accounts for the 2020-21 season earlier on Sunday with losses of 481 million euros ($ 557 million). They also agreed to an operating income budget of 765 million euros ($ 886 million) for 2021-2022.

“We have to look to the future and focus on returning the club to its old state,” said club president Joan Laporta. “We have been working tirelessly for six months to get the club out of the institutional pit into which it fell. But we are not going to be able to fix this situation overnight.

OTHER RESULTS

Sevilla, third, rebounded from their first loss of the season with a 1-0 win over Celta Vigo, Rafa Mir scoring the game-winning goal early in the second half. It was the fourth loss in five home games for 16th-placed Celta.

Osasuna won 2-1 at Villarreal with Ezequiel “Chimy” Ávila scoring the game-winning goal for the visitors in the 87th. Lucas Torró opened the scoring for Osasuna in the first half and Gerard Moreno equalized early in the second half. It was the third consecutive victory for Osasuna, fifth. Villarreal remained 11th.

With Radamel Falcão remaining on the bench, sixth-placed Rayo Vallecano beat Elche 2-1 at home.

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More AP football: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Azzoni tales on Twitter: http://twitter.com/tazzoni


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