La Liga: Barcelona 5 Villarreal 0
Barcelona opened up their La Liga campaign with a festival of goals, dominating a sorry Villarreal side 5-0 at Camp Nou.
Two goals by 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.
Barca’s Spanish starlet Thiago put his side a goal up with a fantastic solo effort on 25 minutes.
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 finish inside the box after a wonderful through ball from Messi.
Things only got worse for Villarreal after the interval as Sanchez added his side’s third goal with a classy finish two minutes into the half.
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 their next league fixture, while Villarreal will host Sevilla on the same day.
Tue 30 August, 2011