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La Liga

  • August 29, 2011
  • • 20:00
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Javier Turienzo Álvarez
  • • Attendance: 75097

Barcelona 5-0 Villarreal: Messi, Fabregas & Alexis Sanchez all on target as champions cruise to victory

Barcelona 5-0 Villarreal: Messi, Fabregas & Alexis Sanchez all on target as champions cruise to victory

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Pep Guardiola's side got their league campaign off to a flying start, embarrassing the visitors with a display of precision, speed and class

Barcelona opened up their La Liga campaign with a festival of goals, dominating a sorry Villarreal side 5-0 at Camp Nou.

A brace from Lionel Messi and a goal apiece from Thiago Alcantara, Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez saw the champions exit the pitch to a standing ovation as Pep Guardiola's men successfully trialled a 3-4-3 formation.

With several defenders out due to suspension or injury, Eric Abidal, Javier Mascherano and Sergio Busquets started in defence. However, the trio saw little work as the attack of the home side stole the show.

And 25 minutes in, Barca's Spanish starlet, Thiago, put his side a goal up with a fantastic solo effort.

The youth team product made a fantastic run towards goal after receiving the ball from Fabregas, and homed in on the area before slowing down to send the ball into the right corner of the goal.

Just as the first half was set to end, Fabregas doubled the lead with a neat finish after a wonderful through ball from Messi.

The Argentine attacker slipped a clever little pass through the last line of their opponents, finding the former Arsenal captain running diagonally in the box. Fabregas took a touch with his right foot to evade Diego Lopez, knocking the ball into the empty net.

Two minutes into the second half, Sanchez added his side's third goal with a classy strike.

Darting down the right wing on the break, the former Udinese star touched the ball into the box, set his sight on goal and placed a careful effort into the left side of the net as the floodgates opened.

Messi got on the scoresheet with a goal similar to that of Fabregas, latching onto Andres Iniesta's pass, skipping by Lopez with his left foot before finishing with his right into the open goal.

The diminutive frontman bagged his second, and his side's fifth, 15 minutes from time with a finish in front of goal after a combination with Thiago ended with Messi slotting home from close range.

Barca earned all three points with ease and next travel to face Real Sociedad on September 11 in the next league fixture, while Villarreal will host Sevilla on the same day.