Polish striker Robert Lewandowski scored a brace for the Blaugrana. Spanish forward Ansu Fati meanwhile scored the other goal of the match.
Coming to this game, Barcelona was under huge pressure. They drew with Inter at Camp Nou in a match they should have won and also lost to arch-rival Real Madrid in their last match. They needed a win to have some breathing space and also keep the pressure on defending champions Real Madrid.
Xavi started with a 4-3-3- setup and made five changes from the line-up that played in the Clasico. Marc-Andre ter Stegen kept his place in the Barcelona goal. Sergi Roberto, Jules Kounde, Marcos Alonso, and Jordi Alba played as the back four. Frenkie de Jong started in the holding midfielder position while Gavi and Pedri played as central midfielders. Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati were given a start after their impressive performance in the Clasico and Robert Lewandowski led the lines.
Xavi’s Barcelona Demolished Villarreal
From the beginning of the match, Barcelona showed the ascendency to get a positive result from the match. Villarreal meanwhile opted to stay back with a good defensive shape.
In the first fifteen minutes of the game, they were successful in not letting Barcelona create a single chance. But as the match progressed, Barcelona grew more into the game and they improved their tempo.
Finally, in the 30th minute of the match, Robert Lewandowski opened the scoring. Barcelona midfielder Pedri played a beautiful through ball which found Jordi Alba’s overlapping run. The fullback darted in a dangerous cross in the box toward Lewandowski. The striker controlled the ball with a swift touch, took a turn, and fired past Rulli.
Minutes after that, Barcelona won the ball in the midfield and Gavo found Lewandowski at the left-hand side of the box. Barca’s talisman opened his body and found the back of the net with a brilliant curler. With this goal, Lewandowski now have 11 goals in his first ten league matches for Barcelona.
Then even before Villarreal could have recovered, Ansu Fati scored the third goal of the match. Fati who scuffed his first effort from 2 feet luckily got the rebound and made it 3-0.
From there on it was a matter of controlling the game for Barcelona and securing three points. Xavi’s side did exactly that and did not let Villarreal get even a look at the goal.
The biggest positive for Barcelona from this match was Frenkie de Jong’s performance. The Dutch international played with a lot of authority. He showed urgency and proved himself by playing his heart out.
Now after this win, Barcelona will stay in the second position. With eight wins, the Blaugrana now have 25 points. They will play Athletic Bilbao in their next match.