Barcelona returned to the winning ways and remain four points clear at the top of the table in La Liga thanks to a comfortable 2-0 win away to Villarreal on Sunday. The Blaugrana were the better team from start to finish and had very little trouble getting an important win at a tough environment.
Barça had a decent performance in the first half, with good movement between the lines and great passing at times. Lionel Messi, Jordi Alba and Paulinho were the three most dangerous players throughout the half, and all three created some good scoring chances.
Unfortunately, Sergio Asenjo kept making saves and keeping the Blaugrana from finding the back of the net. When Asenjo couldn’t make a save, the crossbar kept Gerard Piqué from putting Barça ahead and the Catalans just could not get a goal in the first half. Villarreal were missing some key attacking players, but still had one really good chance that Ter Stegen saved in amazing fashion.
At halftime, a good game and a good performance from Barça had no goals, but the visitors looked in good position to score in the second half.
Barça continued to dominate possession and had some more good chances, but they just couldn’t find the back of the net. But Dani Raba was sent off for an awful challenge on Sergio Busquets, and that gave Barça more space and time to attack, and they got the goals.
First it was Luis Suárez who scored the opener thanks to an assist from Paco Alcácer, and then Barça pressed high to recover the ball close to the box and Busquets found Messi for the second goal. The game was over at that point, and Barça simply ran out the clock to secure the win and the clean sheet.
Returning to the winning ways after two league draws was important, and to do it in dominant fashion at a tough ground is an encouraging sign. El Clásico is coming, so every win and performance matters. This one was good.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets (Gomes), Paulinho (Vidal), Denis (Alcácer); Messi, Suárez
Goals: Suárez (72’), Messi (83’)
Villarreal: Asenjo; Mario, González, Ruíz, Jaume; Rodri, Semedo (Castillejo), Trigueros; Soriano (Rukavina); Raba, Bakambu