Although two late goals from the boots of Lionel Messi and Luiz Suarez rescued FC Barcelona from defeat on Tuesday night, most fans of the Catalan club were unison in describing Nigerian wonder kid, Samuel Chukwueze, as the undoubted hero of the eight-goal thriller in Villarreal.
The Super Eagles player who made his debut for the national team in the lone goal victory over Pharaohs of Egypt penultimate Monday in an international friendly in Asaba.
Chukwueze was deservedly voted ‘Man of the Match’ of the Barcelona versus Villarreal clash which ended 4-4. He scored one goal and assisted in two other goals for the Yellow Submarines who were cruising to home win before Messi’s magic changed the rhythm for the two teams to share the spoils of the battle.
THISDAY checks on FC Barcelona Twitter handle yesterday revealed hundreds of fans of the Catalan club heaping plaudits on the pacy, young winger who terrorised the Laliga giants all through the match.
Chukwueze was commended especially for the way he unsettled the central defence pair of Samuel Umtiti and Clement Lenglet. Jordi Alba’s constant runs on the left flank was cut short because the Nigeria wonder kid never allowed him any breathing space.
With the scoreline at 4-2 in favour of the home team who are battling against relegation, Chukwueze was substituted in the 87th minute by Daniele Bonera. The Nigerian lad was given a standing ovation by the 19,515 fans inside the Estadio de la Ceramica in Villarreal.
Although many Barcelona fans reckoned with the tactical error of allowing two left footed pair in the defence, the level at which Chukwueze tormented the back line exposed the blunder in Coach Ernesto Valverde’s game-plan.
The young Nigerian came within a whisker of a second goal when his left-footed rocket forced Ter Stegen into a save, with the ball hitting the crossbar and top-spinning out for a corner.
Chukwueze told www.tribuna.com in a post match interview that he was happy scoring against Barcelona. ” I am very happy to have scored against Barcelona. It was an amazing night for me and I’m delighted with my performance.
“It’s just a normal game for me and I’m going to keep my head down and keep on working hard. We pressed with the team with everything although we missed the maximum points that should have raised us far above relegation point, it is normal that we keep our heads up,” the Villarreal forward said in the match report.
Villarreal is presently on 30 points and still battling against relegation. The team is playing this weekend away to Real Betis.