Villarreal vs Barcelona (1-4): Possibly it is late, but Barca’s reaction came in Villarreal, with a very complete match. Griezmann returned and completed his best performance since confinement and one of the best of the season; with a great goal and participation in another, which opened the can. With Messi, who threw a foul on the post, in an assistant delivery mode; the Barcelona team did not score any more goals (there were four) because Asenjo prevented it. Even, in the end, he was the protagonist of an incredible parade to kick from Braithwaite.
With goals from Pau Torres in his own door; Suarez, Griezmann, and Ansu Fati, Barca solved an exciting game in the first half and decided already in the second. Gerard Moreno marked the momentary draw, before being reserved in the second half. The best match since Setien’s arrival.
The Cantabrian coach seems to have found a system in which this Barca feels comfortable. He intervened on the board and did it effectively in a fast-paced; high-pace game in which the Barcelona team won the tactical game against a surprised ‘Yellow Submarine’; who could not find the formula to stop Messi between the lines or to avoid the great first half of the still champion. Griezmann recovered better sensations and formed a trident with Messi and Suarez; and also scored a great goal, with petroleum jelly to the squad and heel assistance from Leo; a more stellar day as a game generator and assistant.
Villarreal vs Barcelona: Match Overview
The staging of Barca was surprising. Setien maintained the 4-4-2 with the center of the field in diamond; but with Messi in the attacking midfielder, where Riqui Puig was in the previous match; this time on the bench. After the changes in the second half, he returned to 4-3-3. Another change; which surprised Villarreal. The uses of two arrival interiors, Arturo Vidal and Sergi Roberto, who also played on the left. And ahead, the Griezmann-Suarez couple, with dynamism and much more participation from the French, in their best minutes of post-confinement.
Precisely, protagonists of that mini-revolution of Setien put Barca ahead. Sergi Roberto broke inside from the left inside and opened for Jordi Alba, whose poisoned center was diverted to a goal by Pau Torres when Griezmann, who had been ‘off-side’ without intervening in the first phase of the play, reached the auction.
The 1-0 was the prize for a great start for Barca, with a high pace of play, effective ball possession, and dangerous arrivals both inside and on the wing, especially Jordi Alba, with Semedo slightly grayer on the right. Barca was fine in construction but suffered again with the rival’s transitions.
In the first that Villarreal was able to mount, a long pass to Alcacer from the right allowed the Valencian striker, in a doubtful position that the VAR revised, to win them back to the central and yield to Cazorla, whose shot was initially rejected by Ter Stegen. Gerard Moreno picked up the rebound and scored.
There were other occasions for Villarreal to the counter as a result of Barca’s offensive positioning, such as a shot by Chukwueze deviated and a shot by Bacca; substitute for an injured Alcacer, who rejected Ter Stegen. But Barca continued to send. There was a shot by Arturo Vidal to the doll that Asenjo rejected and, above all, two great goals.
Griezmann’s great goal
Luis Suarez put Barca ahead again with an impressive shot from the thread, after a great move by Messi in the middle. He drew rivals and left the ball to the Uruguayan, whose launch was subtle. Very similar to the one that served Griezmann to break his scoring drought. He did not score since the Champions League first, in the Naples field. And, with everything that has been talked about in recent days; he was missing this goal. This work of art.
Griezmann finished off with petroleum jelly, placing the ball in the square, away from Asenjo’s reach; a great collective move by Barca that reached Messi. The Argentine, in the front, took a heel out of Gristezmann’s heel, behind him, who at first, with the left, achieved one of the League’s goals.
Calleja made changes soon. He left Moreno on the bench and gave the sensation of thinking more about what is to come, while Setien put Rakitic for a gray Semedo and Riqui Puig instead of Luis Suarez with half an hour ahead, passing Sergi Roberto to the side and Messi to a pair of forwards with Griezmann. Little changed control and arrivals continued to be for Barca.
Asenjo rejected a shot by Arturo Vidal after a counter mounted by Messi and, almost next, another shot by Jordi Alba. Before the carousel of changes with which Quique Setien gave breaks; which affected Griezmann (who does not need much), Leo scored a great goal, finishing off an assist from Sergi Roberto after a collective movement that could have been the fourth, but was canceled on the outside of play by Arturo Vidal in the play prior to Leo’s final play.
The fourth was finally from Ansu Fati, who formed the trident of the final stage with Messi and Braithwaite after picking up a deep pass from Alba from the left, entering the area, cutting Albiol, and scoring. Another great goal.