Barcelona 3, Villarreal 0: Goal crazy Barcelona run riot in La Liga win over Villarreal

Barcelona 3, Villarreal 0: Goal-crazed Barcelona sparks riots in La Liga win over Villarreal with Robert Lewandowski scoring twice as Xavi’s side bounce back in style from last week’s defeat in Clasico

  • Barcelona returned to winning ways with a 3-0 home win over Villarreal
  • Robert Lewandowski scored twice in the first 40 minutes of the game
  • The Polish star has now scored 11 league goals this season since joining
  • Ansu Fati scored Barcelona’s third goal when they dominated at Camp Nou

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Barcelona scored a goal against Villarreal in the first half as Xavi shook up his squad and dropped four of the players who had fallen short against Real Madrid this weekend.

Ousmane Dembele and summer signing from Leeds Raphinha were both on the bench, while Ansu Fati only made his second start of the season in the league.

Sergio Busquets was also dropped with Frenkie de Jong in midfield and, with Eric Garcia also excluded, former Chelsea fullback Marcos Alonso was centre-back.

Ansu Fati (left) found his way onto the scoresheet in Barcelona’s bounce-back win

Fati scored Barcelona’s third goal of the game in the 38th minute as Villarreal crumbled

Barcelona manager Xavi has eased pressure on himself after victory over Villarreal

The result was a 3-0 deficit at halftime with the goals scored in just seven minutes and against a team that had previously sent just three all season. The first at 31 minutes was a reminder of what Barcelona can do if they move the ball quickly.

Pedri’s early ball to the left was first stabbed by Jordi Alba to Lewandowski, who was standing with his back to goal, but with a brilliant first touch, defenders Raul Albiol and Pau Torres sent past him, making himself look forward to pass Gero Shoot Rulli.

Four minutes later they had added a second and it was even better. Pedri won the ball back in midfield and passed it to Gavi who charged forward and released Lewandowski who curled his shot from the edge of the area past Rulli.

He has scored 11 goals in 10 games in La Liga – with Leo Messi-level numbers of around 40 for the season, he is well within his reach at this rate.

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Villarreal collapsed at the Camp Nou when Barcelona scored three goals in 38 minutes

Barcelona’s Robert Lewandowski (left) scored twice in the 3-0 home win against Villarreal

It was now party time and Fati came into action at 38 minutes. De Jong, who impressed in Busquets’ position, started the move together with Lewandowski. Ferran Torres pushed it across the six-yard box to the 19-year-old and though his first shot hit the post, he shot in from the rebound.

Lewandowski scored his 11th goal of the season on Thursday

Unai Emery, whose PSG side once shipped six times at Camp Nou, made a change at halftime. Arnaut Danjuma, who had one of Villarreal’s only chance in the first half, in the side net, was eliminated and it was Jose Luis Morales’ turn.

At 70 minutes, Xavi made changes. De Jong appeared to be asking to be released for what appeared to be a minor injury and Busquets was brought in. Hector Bellerin was back from injury and replaced Sergi Roberto.

With little confidence in Villarreal getting back into the game, Xavi gave Lewandowski and Fati an early cut with Dembele and Raphinha approaching. They combined almost immediately, but the latter couldn’t finish off the former’s cross.

Gerard Pique then replaced Kunde with 13 minutes to go. There had been a few isolated whistles for Busquets when he came in and there had been a few whistles for Pique too.

Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong impressed in ‘goal crazy’ first half in Camp Nou

The singing section behind the goal then began to sing Pique’s name, but each chant was accompanied by a few more whistles from elsewhere in the stadium.

The debate will now focus on whether Xavi had brought Pique too late to expose him to those whistles. He will argue that Kunde, who recently returned from injury, needed the rest.

Barcelona have come within three points of leaders Real Madrid after their victory

The second half was flat, but the first period was fantastic and all of this relieved the pressure on Xavi. Mauricio Pochettino was at Camp Nou to watch it.

It is probably too early for a defeat to have started the rumor mill of available coaches to replace him, but Xavi can now look forward with more optimism to Sunday’s visit from former Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde and his Athletic Bilbao team.

MATCH REVIEWS

BARCELONA

Ter Stegen 6; Sergi Roberto 6 (Bellerin 70), Kounde 7 (Pique 78), Marcos Alonso 7, Jordi Alba 7; Gavi 7, De Jong 8 (Busquets 70), Pedri 7; Ferran 7, Lewandowski 9 (Raphinha 75), Ansu Fati 7 (Dembele 75)

VILLARREAL

Ruli 6; Kiko Femenia 6, Albiol 6 (Mandi 80), Pau Torres 6, Pedraza (Mojica 25)6; Yeremi Pino 6, Parejo 6, Morlanes 6 (Trigueros 57), Baena 6; Jackson 6 (A Moreno 58), Danjuma 6 (Morales 45) 6



Merry

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