Vila-Real (Spain), July 6
Barcelona responded to a attempting week by producing a scintillating show to thrash Villarreal 4-1 away on Sunday and keep alive within the Liga title race.
The Catalans had drawn their final two matches at hand extra momentum to league leaders Real Madrid however Sunday’s win took them to 73 factors after 34 video games, 4 behind their arch-rivals who gained 1-Zero at Athletic Bilbao earlier within the day.
An personal objective from Pau Torres put Barca in entrance within the third minute, with Villarreal’s Gerard Moreno levelling on the rebound within the 14th earlier than the guests restored their lead by an excellent curling strike from Luis Suarez six minutes later.
Antoine Griezmann stretched Barca’s benefit simply earlier than the break with a chic chip, having been dropped from the beginning lineup within the final two video games, whereas 17-year-old Ansu Fati added a fourth within the second half with a low strike.
For Barca defender Gerard Pique, delivering such a slick efficiency was as satisfying as returning to profitable methods.
“It was essential to get the three factors to remain within the hunt however the best way we performed was vital too as a result of that is part of our identification so we have to maintain enjoying like that till the top of the season,” he mentioned.
Barca’s confidence was rocked by attracts with Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid whereas the sense of instability on the membership deepened amid stories captain Lionel Messi was sad with the state of affairs and didn’t wish to keep past his contract.
There had been additionally been loads of hypothesis surrounding coach Setien after he had introduced Griezmann on in added time towards Atletico, a transfer described within the Spanish media as an act of humiliation towards the World Cup-winning ahead.
Griezmann was named within the lineup towards a Villarreal facet who had gained 5 of their final six video games and was energetic from the kick off, serving to drive the opening objective in addition to working tirelessly in midfield and mixing properly with Messi and Suarez.
He adorned his efficiency with a luxurious objective, receiving a back-heeled lay off from Messi and coolly delivering a chip that skimmed off the crossbar and into the online.
Messi additionally produced an excellent efficiency however failed to attain because the Argentine had one effort dominated out for offside after an exhilarating workforce transfer after which hammered the bar with a late free kick.
Pique reacted to Messi’s objective being disallowed by showing to make a puppet gesture after Real Madrid not too long ago benefitted from VAR choices however the defender mentioned he meant nothing by it, including that he had made the gesture resulting from a rush of adrenaline.