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Deportivo La Coruña
29 August 2011
• Camp Nou, Barcelona
Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
• Attendance: 75097
Thiago Alcântara 25'
A. Sánchez 47'
L. Messi 52', 75'
That's all from me folks; keep tweeting your views (@dquintonnavarro) of how this la Liga season is going to pan out. As always, it's been a pleasure - for now, ta ta.
Story of tonight then; goal. goal. goal. goal. goal. There was of course more to that but it is an emphatic message from the current league Champions.
So no sixth goal for Guardiola's side and you just know that some part of the Barcelona squad will be disappointed not to have matched Madrid's 6-0 scoreline but after all; Villarreal are a slightly stronger side than Zaragoza.
That's the lot; Barcelona run out 5-0 winners in their opening la Liga match against a side that are in this year's Champions League. It is an incredible peformance; just incredile.
Barca with it back as the 90 minutes comes up ont he board; Messi makes a wonderful dart forward but it goes unnoticed by Xavi (or more likely refused) opting to give the ball back to Mascherano in defence.
Villarreal ending on a relative high as they are relishing having the ball at their feet but it is more of a case that Barca are letting them having it rather than the Yellow Submarines are keeping it away from their opposition.
Yellow Card Carlos Marchena
Valdes makes a great save from Camunas who'd worked a free-kick well with Rossi but the bending effort is palmed away by a full-stretched VV.
Credit to Busquets there; Wakaso - who'd been booked moments later - clattered into the Spain international but he stayed on his feet despite the obvious knock to knock the ball wide to Villa who tests Zapata at right-back. Had Busquets gone down, like most players would have, Villarreal would be down to ten here.
Yellow Card Wakaso
Guardiola's side come again; and Messi combines with Xavi before the Argentine touches it to Thiago who tries to find the Spanish midfielder who'd continued his run but this time Gonzalo does well to intercept much to the frustration of the thousands of Barca fans; never satisfied are they really.
Passing perfection. That pretty much says it all as Xavi, Thiago. dos Santos, Villa and Messi all pass the between around the final thrid with Villarreal chasing shadows until the ball is pushed out to Alexis who doesn't quite get it under control first time giving Villarreal a much needed throw-in.
VILLA! He comes close after he is found on the left-flank by Xavi, cuts inside to curl it inside the far post but Villa doesn't get it quite right and it bounces wide of the target; every Barcelona player wants the ball out there right now.
Let's not forget that Villarreal are a very, very good side in their own respect; this is a massive result for Barcelona.
Five is one less than six...Ronaldo scored three yesterday and Messi has two. If I were a betting man....
Assist Thiago Alcántara
Goal Lionel Messi
GOAL GOAL!! 5-0!! LIONEL MESSI!! Superb work from Barcelona's midfield once again as they pass the ball around Villarreal with apparent ease, dos Santos - on as a substitute - finds the feet of Messi who takes one touch with his left before passing it to Thiago with his right. The Argentine then bursts into the box to get on the end of Thiago's low cross to turn the ball home ahead of Lopez. Super stuff.
Musacchio comes of defence for a split second and takes it beyond Xavi and Thiago in midfield and looks to send Rossi clear but Barca are aware of the striker and manage to clear and begin once again from the back.
Rossi has a shot for Villarreal; not something you'd have read that much tonight and it is a good effort considering the Italy international is surrounded by three Barca players as he looks to bend it inside the far post but despite Valdes' dive the ball is always going wide of the target.
And Messi tests the palms of Lopez with a well struck shot from distance but the 'keeper was up to the task and Villarreal manage to keep it at 4-0, for now.
Jonathan Dos Santos
A it is a good attack with Senna heavily involved, the second half subsitute collects the ball before playing it into Rossi who hold it before giving it back to Senna who had continued his run and stayed onside. Unselfishly Senna looked to play in Rossi who had spun of his marker but Busquets did well to read the pass and cut it out with Barcalon then coming away on the counter.
Barcelona look to pass their way out of defence and they do so but the sheer number of Villarreal shirts back ensures that the Yellow Submarines can launch a rare attack with Barca players committed.
In fact, he cannot continue and it's a like for like swap as Villa enters the contest with little over 20 minutes still to play.
Pedro barges over Zapata; a bit of mismatch that one but the foul is giving anyway and the two clash again moments after the restart when Zapata's outstretched foot hits Pedro after clearing the ball. Nothing wrong with that one there but Pedro requires some treatment because of it.
Messi with a wonderful show of trickery as he drags the ball inside of a defender before touching it past him with his opposite foot; he then finds Fabregas on the right hand-side whose low cross is into the corridor of uncertainity but Lopez happily watches it roll out as no Barca player had gambled.
Pedro looks to get on the end of a wayward Messi pass and in chasing down a lost cause wins a corner kick after Zapata has lost his footing but the corner comes to nothing as Messi and Xavi can't work any space on the far side.
Mascherano looks to bring Alexis into the game but the Argentines pass isn't good enough and it goes out of play for a Barca throw.
Messi makes a run that drags two defenders with him allowing Xavi to put his foot through the ball find an unmarked Pedro on the far side; it hangs int he air a fraction too long and Villarreal are able to close down the Spanish international who still squeezes acorss toward the near post but Lopez was equal to it and collected it unchallenged.
Senna gets on the ball for the first time and looks to replicate Barcelona's passing out from the back using Marchena as his go to go but as Barca make the ball do the work they are able to close down quickly and force Villarreal into a corner with Zapata doing well to win a throw-in off the foot of Pedro.
One touch football from Barcelona now and they are really enjoying themselves out there as Villarreal look to reorganise and stem the flow of Barca attacks.
Defensive move from Garrido as Nilmar is removed for Senna who will look to protect the back four; for Barca Xavi comes on for Iniesta.
Real Madrid scored six.......just sayin.
It was beautiful passing and moving from Barcelona for several minutes before that goal, with the end seeing Iniesta touch it to Fabregas who knocked it first time back to his compatriot who saw the run of Messi before he'd made it and rolled the ball in perfectly for the Argentine. Again, again, again.
Goal Lionel Messi
MESSI! NUMBER FOUR! The Argentine is the one to latch onto the end of Iniesta's ball through this time and he rounds Lopez to score his 100th home goal for Barcelona. Game. Over.
Barcelona knock it around with apparent ease as Villarreal are unable to get close to the numerous players making darting runs all-over the pitch.
Villarreal just seem to be a step behind Barca who have found an extra bit of energy as Iniesta's wonderful crossfield ball stretches the Villarreal defende as Sanchez controls it instanteously with his chest.
Barcelona comes close to a fourth soon after the restart when Messi chips the ball toward Pedro whose first time volley screams over the top of the bar; Villarreal need to try and stay in touch here.
Yellow Card Alexis Sánchez
Assist Thiago Alcántara
Goal Alexis Sánchez
ALEXIS SANCHEZ!! GOAL GOAL GOAL!!!! Game over? Superb ball from Thiago from the deep who slides the ball in behind Villarreal and Alexis is left all alone, he takes one touch before side-footing inside the far post.
Villarreal get us underway and we'll be hoping for a higher level of intensity from the men in Yellow as they look to attack early but Barca are untroubled and get the ball back at their feet.
The Villarreal boys are back out there with Nilmar and Rossi in deep conversation as they await the arrival of the Barca 11.
The Villarreal boys are back out there with Nilmar and Rossi in deep conversation as they await the arrival of the Barca 11.
Our Goal.com Match Editor (a Villarreal fan) believes that Gonzalo was at fault for both of the goals, and on second look he surely was..Garrido may have brought his star defender back a fraction too early as he seems to be a little off the pace out there tonight.
Are Villarreal going to clinch that fourth spot again this year following the loss of Capdevilla and Cazorla during the summer? Who could usurp them from that prized position in la Liga - @dquintonnavarro, or for you guys that like to trend - @goal_intl and use the #laliga
Our special guest for the night (@nguyenofficial) predicited a 2-1 scoreline to Barcelona prior to kick-off, he is on the money if Villarreal stage a second-half revival; Tweet @dquintonnavarro with your predictions for the second half.
Villarreal need to find that 'something extra' in the second half, with Barcelona's defence looking suspect at times if the Yellow Submarines can add withd high-up the pitch it could just change the final result; if they get the ball that is.
45' + 1'
Brilliant way to end the half for Barcelona, and that is the end with the referee blowing straight after the re-start with Guardiola's side worthy of their two goal lead at the break. Villarreal had shown some live toward the end of the half but will have an up-hill struggle in the second half.
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
FABREGAS!!! GOAL GOAL GOAL! Fabregas and Messi combine brilliantly, with the latter sliding the ball through to the ex-Arsenal man who had held his run brilliantly. Cesc takes the ball in his stride with ease and touches the ball around Lopez before rolling it into an empty net.
The first corner results in a second after Gonzalo knocked the ball behind, and the second sees Marchena get there before any Barca player and Villarreal release the pressure, for now.
Iniesta gets space in between midfield and defence and gives it wide to Alexis Sanchez who looks up into the box and tries to pick out one of three players who had darted into the area but he can't beat the first man and Barca win a corner kick as a result.
Urgency from the men in Yellow before the break here but Cani and Oriol aren't on the same wavelength as Cani looks to put the full-back in behind Alexis filling in at right-back but there was no run and Barcelona bring the ball clear untroubled.
Fabregas is bundled over in midfield by Valero and Thiago shows his flair by taking the free-kick quickly to Pedro whose first time ball back inside invites Iniesta to hit it. Hit it he does but Lopez is left untroubled as Gonzalo had flung a foot and diverted the ball away.
It should be a corner, but a closer look shows the flag has been raised; tight, oh so tight - but nonetheless Valdes didn't know that so credit is still due.
ROSSI! A great, great chance for Villarreal as Rossi is one-on-one with VV but Valdes gets down low and with the under part of his name knocks the ball onto the ground to watch as it hammers onto the underside of the crossbar. Rossi is determined to get his goal and follows up but Valdes throws himself in their to claw the ball off the top of Rossi's head, superb goalkeeping there.
Villarreal have been on the ball a bit more in the last five or so minutes and have seemed to arrive in this game, and at times Barcelona have appeared stretched.
Yellow Card Cesc Fàbregas
Yellow Card Javier Mascherano
It's Valero to strike the resulting free-kick but he cannot beat the wall that delays the taking of the set piece. The resulting ball across from Zapata is struck low toward Nilmar but the flag is raised and Barca come away, luckily, unscathed.
MUSACCHIO! Villarreal are furious! Nilmar is fouled after the challenge from behind took the Brazilian and not the ball but it falls to Musacchio who has the easiest of knocks across to Rossi who can tap in but the play has been brought back for the initial foul.
Thiago gives the ball away in the middle of the park to Marchena who shifts the ball onto Bruno before Villarreal can launch an attack and the Yellow Submarines have some urgency about them all of sudden with Rossi Thiago is forced to head the ball away before Nilmar can nod home.
Hesitancy from Diego Lopez there as the ball forward seems to be his to collect but the 'keeper stays on his line putting Musacchio under pressure but the defender does well hooking the ball away' only for Barcelona to come again. This is a big test of strength for the Garrido's side at the moment.
Barcelona win two corners in quick succession after the first saw a Fabregas half-volley deflected behind with Villarreal successfully the defending the second and they look to send Nilmar on his way but the ball is too strong and Barca have the ball once again.
Messi and Fabregas look to combine as Barca attack once again but the latters chipped ball is just too hard and Lopez can collect the ball ahead of the Argentine striker.
Villarreal look to respond immediately when the ball is played down the side of Barcelona's defence for the first time giving Rossi, what could be his first touch, but the Italy man cannot find the target with a rasping drive which ripples the side netting.
Assist Cesc Fàbregas
Goal Thiago Alcántara
THIAGO!! GOAL!!! Super finish from the edge of the penatly area after marauding forward unchallenged giving the youngster the chance to smash the ball beyond Lopez's outstretched hand.
Villarreal knock the ball around gaining some much needed confidence and Valero has a chance to swing the ball across but slips as he looks to cut back inside; shame.
FABREGAS! Mightly close there; Messi turns with three Villarreal players around him and somehow manages to toe-poke a ball between them and into the path of Fabregas who is going to get there ahead of Lopez but Gonzalo somehow stretches out a foot and knocks it away for a corner kick. World class that was.
Messi is on his back after being clattered into from Cani in a similar position to the one moments before but this time Barca take it short and get us underway again.
Yellow Card Cristian Zapata
Superb work from Zapata who is looking questionable at times at right-back but this time the Columbian comes off the better against Pedro. Cesc knocks the ball inside the full-back but he read it well and managed to turn and get there just ahead of Pedro who was closing in.
It is Messi, and he opts to lift it and bend it over the wall but it lacks any real pace and Lopez comes across palming it into the ground and catching it after one bounce.
Freekick...Alexis wins a foul around 25-yards away from the target and ideally suited for a left-footer; and yep, here comes one Lionel Messi to take it.
BUSQUETS! From the corner Sergio Busquets crashes a header onto the crossbar with Diego Lopez well beated, so so close that was.
MESSI! First real save of the game after decent work from Messi and Pedro sees the latter play the ball inside of Zapata and Gonzalo into the Argentines path who hits a shot first-time which Lopez knocks behind for a corner kick.
Nilmar shows a few nice touches with the sole of his boot as he looks to roll the ball beyond Abidal refusing the option of Cani but the Barca defender watches the ball well and knocks it away from the Brazilian and back to his 'keeper.
And come again they do. Gonzalo nods the first ball away but Alexis's touch sends the ball back and it has the Villarreal captain in trouble but Deigo Lopez sprints off his goal line to take charge off the situation and knock the ball away from a waiting Lionel Messi.
Pedro finds some space on the near touchline and is eventually found by Messi but the Spaniard is forced to pass the ball all the way back to Abidal and the Blaugrana will have to come again.
The Yellow Submarines have got a good defensive shape about them in the early stages here with Barcelona being frustrated when they do move up the pitch.
Villarreal have got the quality in this team to trouble Barcelona's makeshift defence but they are going to need the ball first; hard to come by against Barca though.
Villarreal coming under a little bit of pressure as Barcelona when the ball straight back from Lopez's goalkick and from the corner they win from the attack Abidal has a great chance to nod home from just three yards out but he missed his header allowing Lopez to, albeit, unconvincingly punch the ball semi-clear only for Busquets to waste the follow-up chance.
Zapata was the man hoping to kick-start the counter but the ball got caught under his feet giving Iniesta the chance to lift the ball into Messi who is sandwiched inbetween Gonzalo and Musacchio but he controls it brilliantly before brining Alexis into play whose snap shot is deflected intot the grateful arms of Diego Lopez.
Mascherano opts to bring the ball out of defence into midfield which is a risk, bearing in mind he is one of just three defenders, and the Argentine gets away with a dodgy pass in midfield as Villarreal looked to launch a counter.
Nilmar looks to get on a ball over the top with Abdial for company but the pass skids off the turf and goes out of play with the left-back clattering into the advertisment boards in the progress, good signs of Villarreal looking to catch Barca on the break there.
Rossi shows determination to keep the ball ahead of Abdial's challenge but the ball falls kindly for Iniesta whose neat footwork nearly creates an opening for Lionel Messi but Bruno was there to close the Argentine down and prevent him from moving the ball on.
Barca bring the ball upfield in their usual manner passing it quickly in triangles with Iniesta and Kieta heavily involved before Messi looks to work the ball to Pedro who cannot get the better of the returning Gonzalo for Villarreal.
And we are underway with Barcelona getting us underway, early signs show Guardiola's side lining-up in that 3-4-3 formation.
The floodlights are beaming down onto the pitch as the players limber up before the kick-off as the la Liga season for these two...there is going to be a minute of respect at the Camp Nou with beautiful music playing across a still and silent stadium.
The teams are out onto the lush green turf at the Camp Nou with rumours circulating that Barelona are going to adopt a 3-4-3 formation; confirmation on that when it comes in.
Two minutes away from kick-off at the Camp Nou and the atmosphere is beginning to heat up as a result, before the weekend this was everybodies 'must watch' game; here's hoping it lives up to the expectations.
Villarreal were the fourth best team in la Liga last season, earning a place in the Champions League in the process but the difference between these two is visible in the 34 points that divided the two teams.
This fixture last season saw Guardiola's side take all three points with a 3-1 victory against the Yellow Submarines.
Special shout out to Arthur Nguyen (@nguyenofficial); how do you see this game panning out, Barcelona to dominate or Villarreal to take something from this match?
It’s easy to get involved tonight using Twitter, after all you guys make the night. All you need is to include @dquintonnavarro to bring us your predictions for the match ahead.
Do you think Barcelona will adopt a 3-4-3 formation tonight due to the absence of their first choice centre-backs or will Guardiola stick with the tried and tested?
Villarreal Starting XI: Diego Lopez; Zapata, Musacchio, Gonzalo, Oriol; Valero, Marchena, Bruno, Cani; Nimar, Rossi.
Barcelona Starting XI: Valdes; Keita, Busquets, Mascherano, Abidal; Fabregas, Iniesta, Thiago; Pedro, Messi, Alexis.
TEAM NEWS: Villarreal’s Gonzalo returns after coming on as a substitute in the last match, with Zapata moving to right-back whilst there are starts for Rossi and Nilmar up top.
TEAM NEWS: Keita & Busquets are expected to deputise for the absent Dani Alves and Gerard Pique in defence whilst Thiago starts in midfield.
Guardiola has managed to surpass Johan Cruyff’s trophy haul with the opening two trophies of the season; the Spanish Supercopa & UEFA Super Cup against Real Madrid and Porto respectively.
Both sides have had to sit back as la Liga kicked off this weekend, with Real Madrid catching the eye of admiring spectators running out 6-0 winners away to Zaragoza last night whilst there were wins for Sevilla & Valencia.
Daniel Quinton-Navarro here; and I will be taken to you Camp Nou for Spanish Monday Night Football: Barcelona vs. Villarreal.
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