Barcelona’s unbeaten run just keeps on going as the club swatted Villarreal aside at the Camp Nou on Wednesday. The hosts raced into a two-goal lead and rarely looked back after that. Ousmane Dembele then stole all the headlines with a brilliant goal late on. Just Levante and Real Sociedad stand in their way of Barca becoming Invincibles now.
Ernesto Valverde surprised us all by rotating his squad and he even went for a 4-3-3. And it worked too as Barcelona got off to an absolute flyer at the Camp Nou and surged into a 2-0 lead.
Dembele set up the first goal with a great run and shot that had to be parried by Asenjo. Unfortunately for him it fell straight to Philippe Coutinho who smashed home from close range for the opener.
The second arrived five minutes later after a gorgeous through ball by Andres Iniesta. He picked out Lucas Digne in the box and the full-back slid it across to Paulinho to apply the finish.
Iniesta was at it again just before half-time and teed up Lionel Messi for a brilliant third goal, as Barcelona cruised into half-time three goals to the good.
The second half was perhaps understandably a bit of a disappointment to start with after all that excitement in the first 45 minutes.
Villarreal pulled one back with a massively deflected goal and Barca eased off a little with the game pretty much wrapped up. Coutinho did get the ball in the back of the net again but he was miles offside and the flag went up.
The game was fizzling out until three minutes before the final whistle when Ivan Rakitic went on a brilliant run and just simply couldn’t be stopped. He could have gone for goal but opted to square it for Dembele to make it four.
It got even better in stoppage time as Dembele turned on the style. He picked up the ball in his own half before racing towards goal, going past several defenders and then dinking it over the goalkeeper. A brilliant goal and a brilliant way to sign off.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué (Mina), Umtiti, Alba; Coutinho, Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta (Suarez); Messi, Suárez
Goals: Coutinho (11’), Paulinho (16’), Messi (45’), Dembele (87’), (93’)
Villarreal: Asenjo, Mario, Álvaro, Víctor Ruiz, Costa, Rodri, Castillejo, Fornals, Trigueros, Cheryshev, Bacca
Goal: Sansome (54’)