Former Barcelona boss Quique Setien has spoken about the changes at the Camp Nou since Xavi took charge of the team after Sunday’s clash with the Catalans.
Setien saw his Villarreal side beaten 1-0 by Xavi’s side men and highlighted one aspect in particular that has helped Barcelona improve.
“This Barca side is quick and technical... but what has changed a lot with them is without the ball.
“They are so intense without the ball and they forced us long several times.
“There was hardly a moment in the first half when we could play out comfortably from the back. The data is there, they are the team that runs the most without the ball.”
Yet the Villarreal boss also felt his side had done enough for a point against the league leaders.
“We knew beforehand we were up against a great team in great form. Almost everything is coming off for them,” he added.
“We had some chances that we did not take, which is what we have been lacking recently. But overall, I think a draw would have been fairer. I do have to admit they had 30 very good mins at the start when we couldn’t cope with them.”
Villarreal did create chances but could not find a way past Marc-Andre ter Stegen. That’s now 16 clean sheets from 21 games for Barcelona in La Liga this season.