Barcelona’s 3-0 victory over Villarreal on Thursday night at Camp Nou marked their return to winning ways and gave them three important points in the battle for the La Liga championship. The Blaugrana dominated throughout the match, scoring three excellent goals in the first half and keeping their defensive shape intact to earn a crucial home victory.
Villarreal had to play very conservatively and attempt to survive against a Barça squad eager for goals and desperate for a reaction since they were missing 3 of their best players due to injury and did not have a lot of depth.
Barcelona Had An Easy Game
The team coached by Unai Emery did a good job of maintaining their shape in the first 15 minutes, but Barcelona’s aggressive attacking play eventually forced holes in their defense. The Blaugrana attempted to be as swift and deliberate as possible and not have any sterile possessions, which they did by moving bodies and passing the ball quickly and with greater diversity in the final third.
Barcelona deservedly led 3-0 at halftime, but they still had work to do against a Yellow Submarine team who had nothing to lose.
It has been a trend for Barça this season to start the second half slowly, giving their opponents a chance to come back in the game. However, the Blaugrana performed a much better job of protecting their lead and not giving Villarreal any offensive opportunities.
The home team retreated and defended deeply at times, but they had the majority of possession and limited Yellow Submarine’s fast breaks. Barça kept pressing forward and creating chances, the greatest of which came when replacement Raphinha missed a tap-in.