Ansu Fati showcased his potential as the 17-year-old scored for Barcelona in their 2-0 win over Leganes, a result that took them five points clear of Real Madrid.
Playing at an empty Nou Camp for the first time since the coronavirus outbreak, goals from Fati and Lionel Messi gave Barca the three points and kept the pressure on Real, who play Valencia on Thursday night.
Fati, still only 17, became the second-youngest player ever to five La Liga goals when he fired home three minutes before the break.
The teenager has a long way to go until he catches up with Messi, though, and the Argentinian scored his 26th goal of the campaign in all competitions from the penalty spot in the second half.
How Fati lit up deserted Nou Camp…
In eerie surroundings at one of the great football stadiums, the club placed banners and mosaics in the stands to honour those affected by coronavirus, whilst on the pitch the players stood silent for a minute at kick-off as music by local musicians was played through the speakers.
Barcelona restarted their campaign last week with a routine 4-0 win over Real Mallorca and were perhaps overconfident early on as Leganes had the two best chances in the first 15 minutes.
Clement Lenglet managed to clear an effort off the line from Miguel Angel Guerrero before the same player was denied by the outside of the post from a tight angle. However, whilst always dominating possession, Barcelona always carried a huge threat and eventually took control and opened the scoring through Fati’s low shot from inside the area on 42 minutes.
Antoine Griezmann, who cut a frustrated figure, had a goal disallowed on 64 minutes after VAR determined that Nelson Semedo was offside in the build-up to the Frenchman finding the net.
Messi danced his way through half the Leganes team minutes later – a run which was ended by a foul inside the area from Jonathan Silva. The referee pointed to the spot and Messi duly obliged to score his 629th goal for Barcelona.
Up next for Barcelona, it’s Sevilla on Friday evening (kick-off 9pm).
Meanwhile, Leganes play Real Mallorca, also on Friday (kick-off 6.30pm).