Could have done little to prevent the Barcelona goal. Looked dependable and denied Lionel Messi with a wonderful save from a free kick.
Provided a solid base throughout most of the game and acted as a calming presence to his teammates after Barcelona took the lead.
Kept Afellay in his back pocket for most of the match and made some good interceptions but looked a little shaky when surrounded by Messi and Iniesta towards the end.
Did not show much going forward but read the game well and denied David Villa a goal scoring opportunity with a brilliant last ditch tackle. Also kept Daniel Alves fairly at bay down the right flank.
Created a solid barrier with Gonzalo Rodriguez that was very hard to break down in the first half but let Gerard Pique get in behind him to score the winning goal whilst calling for offside.
Acted as a barrier for the Villarreal defence but was unable to offer much else and was eventually substituted when a more attacking player was needed.
Dictated the play for Villarreal when they had the ball in the first half but was over run by the Barcelona midfield in the second half and was unable to greatly affect the game.
Got in the faces of the Barcelona midfield but his only real contribution to the game was a crunching challenge on Javier Mascherano.
Acted as the link between midfield and attack for Villarreal and sent through two wonderful passes to Giuseppe Rossi that should have resulted in at least one goal for the home side but faded in the second half.
Had two good opportunities to give his side the lead but was unable to get by Victor Valdes. All round play was good and left the Barcelona central defence for dead a couple of times with his pace.
Showed good determination but the quality was just not there to link up with Giuseppe Rossi and create problems for the Barcelona defence.
Made three world class saved to deny Villarreal including an instinctive stop with his feet in the 90th minute to stop a Santiago Cazorla volley. Looked sharp and solid all game.
One of his better games in a Barcelona shirt, showing good pace and determination down the left hand side. However with Borja cutting inside from the right and Mario not bombing forward, did not have a lot to deal with defensively.
Took his goal like a centre forward and got the decisive goal in the match. Looked a little on his heels when dealing with Rossi but generally remained safe at the back.
Barcelona's best outfield player despite being injured in the early minutes. Done his job superbly well and cut up Villarreal attacks time and time again.
With the absence of Xavi in the side, was unable to get on the end of passes over the top of the opposition defence as much. Still acted as an extra attacking player for his side and hit the by-line a few times.
Was fantastic at pressing the Villarreal midfield and did not give them a moments peace on the ball. Eventually substituted for Lionel Messi just after half time.
Barcelona's most effective creative influence and tried hard to dictate the play but missed the presence of Xavi in midfield that would allow him to venture further forward.
Acted as a decent understudy to the injured Xavi and showed some great touches and skill in the first half. Lost his way a little in the second half but still remained calm on the ball.
Strayed from his centre back position a little too much and Mascherano had to fill in for him a few times. However, looked comfortable on the ball as always.
A rare start for the Dutchman and continued to look out of sync with the other Barcelona players. The talent is there but needs more match sharpness.
Looked sharp on the ball but missed Messi and Pedro as striking partners. Was isolated for periods during the game and was eventually substituted.
- 13 Pinto
- 18 G. Milito
- 26 Fontàs
- 40 Martín Montoya
J. dos Santos
Was brought on in the last few minutes as a time wasting substitution.
Acted as a pest to the Villarreal defenders but did not offer any real threat when attacking.
Presence alone on the field was enough to spark Barcelona into life and increase the tempo of their game.