Osasuna 2-2 Barcelona: Ansu Fati makes history but champion falls short

Barcelona came from 1-0 down to lead Osasuna 2-1 thanks partly to youngsters Carles Perez and Ansu Fati, but they did not see out the win.

Antoine Griezmann couldn't have an impact for Barcelona in the absence of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele.   -  Getty Images

Ansu Fati became Barcelona's youngest LaLiga goalscorer as it 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.

Read: Ansu Fati becomes Barca's youngest LaLiga goalscorer with Osasuna equaliser

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 its 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 was 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 hosts Valencia on September 14, when it hopes to have Messi available again. Osasuna travels to Real Valladolid a day later.

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