For the first time since 2006/2007, Barcelona managed to beat Villareal at Camp Nou. But it was not an easy win, far from it. In order to get the three points Barcelona had to fight against an excellent Villareal team, an inadequate referee and their own defensive struggles. Only the genius of Lionel Messi granted Barcelona the win in a match that could easily have ended with a different result.
Barcelona started the game strong, forcing Villareal to play in their own half. In the 21st minute, Villa opened the score with one of his trademark goals, after Messi had already wasted an excellent opportunity earlier. It looked like it would be an easy match for the blaugrana.
In the 26th minute, though, Villareal tied the score thanks to one of the most abysmal referee decisions ever seen in football; Messi and Pedro sprung the offside trap only for the linesman to inexplicably flag them off and deny them the goal. In the very next phase of play, while Pep Guardiola and the Barcelona players were still amazed with this absolutely ridiculous decision, Villareal equalized by Nilmar who easily waltzed through an unfocused Barcelona defensive line.