Vilanova: Villa reminded me of the player from before his injury

The Blaugrana trainer was pleased with the attacker's performance against Cordoba, and also offered words of encouragement for Thiago Alcantara
Tito Vilanova has taken the time to praise David Villa in the wake of Barcelona's 2-0 Copa del Rey win over Cordoba on Wednesday evening.

The Spain international featured for 84 minutes before he was taken off, and Vilanova feels that Villa is nearly back to his usual best again after sustaining a fractured leg at the 2011 Club World Cup.

"I’m very pleased with the work he’s done. He provided the assist for [Lionel] Messi and he gave us a lot of options up top," Vilanova was quoted as saying on the official Barcelona website.

"He played with a lot of rhythm and he reminded me of the footballer he was before his injury.

"I subbed him off because I believed that [Cristian] Tello’s pace would help us score a third goal."

The Barcelona coach also had his say on Thiago Alcantara, and voiced his satisfaction with the midfielder's progress.

"He played at a high level. He’s a player that progressed a lot last year and every time he plays he’s a more complete midfielder."

Thiago has made nine appearances for Barcelona so far this term.