Welcome back to TalkBarca. Our topic for today is Villareal vs Barcelona Match Review. We are coming up with this Review a little late due to some technical issues. However, we are nowhere to discuss a wonderful performance by our team, Barcelona. I told you guys in my Match Preview that I am hopeful for a great performance from my team, and it happened. Barcelona showed beautiful football after a long time. I am really happy with the result as well as the way we played. We dominated the opposition which is something we were always known for.
Barcelona won against Villareal who were playing at their home turf. It’s been long since we dominated any team at their home soil. However, the critics are going to say that it was because there was no crowd and all that non-sense hatred. The fact is that Villareal had a pretty well-thought game plan against us which did not work. I am not going to say that I am pleased with the starting lineup choices by Setien. However, Setien made sure that he gets his tactics on point and makes sure that Barcelona ends with a win.
The final score was 1-4. Barcelona had 3 goal scorers namely Ansu Fati, Antoine Griezmann, and Luis Suarez. Do you notice that name in the middle? Do I need to say it again if you think you misread it? Yes, I said Antoine Griezmann. Griezmann started the game and ended up with a goal. That was not an ordinary goal, but he chipped the goalkeeper from outside the box. How often have you seen this type of goal? Come on, come on tell me. This is a pretty rare sight in football, isn’t it? This is the quality of GRIEZMANN.
VILLAREAL VS BARCELONA MATCH REVIEW
This was a positive performance from us. I think we had fun and played good football. We are no longer chasing the title so having fun in our football must be our main priority. I think that this game was positive for us in many aspects. Yes, every game is a must-win, but having fun is even important. We want to get rid of many mistakes and weaknesses before we step in to face Napoli in the Champions League. I think the Champions League is like a new and important chapter for us.
La Liga was one chapter which is pretty much ended. Yes, it did not end at a great note, but it is ok. We have won this trophy many times and I am hopeful that there are many more La Liga titles to come. Yes, every year is a new year and every season has its charm. I wanted my team to bring home to La Liga’s title. However, we must focus on winning the remaining games now. We need to focus even more on the Champions League title because we need to perform well in it.
I would like to talk about both, First Half and Second half separately. I think we played well in both. However, our style of play and approach for the game was different in both. Setien came up with a different approach in this game. We saw a different lineup and saw Messi, Griezmann, and Suarez together after a pretty long time. Setien started with a 4-3-1-2. This allowed Lionel Messi to stay behind Griezmann and Suarez. I also noticed something different today. We know that Messi likes to stay in the center and operate from there, right?
The same happened. However, I saw that this made it easier to move to the right side more often which is his preferred side as he has a dominant left foot. However, our attackers stayed central for most of the game which gave more offensive freedom to the full-backs. I think this is exactly why this lineup opted. We know that we need to attack more and create more chances. I also mentioned this in my multiples of previous articles that we need to find more ways to attack. This formation allowed that to happen exactly.
Semedo and Alba had more room to play in, and I think they enjoyed it. Griezmann and Suarez proved to be big trouble for the Villareal defenders whereas Messi operated behind the two forwards. There were also some moments when Griezmann also dropped down to the center position. We know that he likes to link with his midfield and that he works a lot despite him playing as a CF. Therefore, even when Griezmann dropped down Suarez was present upfront to receive passes and make more chances for goals. I think we could have scored more goals.
The first goal came in pretty soon than expected. None of our players scored that goal. Instead, it was an own goal from Pau Torres who unwillingly passed the ball into his net. I think it was an incredible display from Antoine Griezmann who made a great movement that troubled Torres. Jordi Alba played a pretty good pass to Griezmann which eventually struck with Pau Torres’s foot and resulted in the first goal of the game. However, it was not good and fun since the beginning of FC Barcelona. It was not pretty long that Villareal equalized.
I think it was our lack of focus which resulted in a quick counter-attack by Villareal. Alcacer started the attack which eventually ended at the back of our net by Gerrard Moreno. That goal ensured that Ter Stegen was not leaving the away stadium with a clean sheet. However, Barcelona gathered them back into the game and everything changed for them. I think our players picked up the rhythm and made sure that everyone plays free-flowing football. The goals from Suarez and Griezmann came in the first half. Lionel Messi deserves credit as-well for his passing.
Messi did a great skill move which eventually ended with a pass to Suarez. Suarez placed the ball in the top right corner which was a typical Suarez finished. That goal sent a huge message that he is the same Luis Suarez every goalkeeper in Europe was afraid of. Vidal missed a pretty good chance as well. I think Vidal was not pretty good in this game as well. However, we are going to discuss him later on. It was after a few minutes that Messi played a back-heel pass to Griezmann who chipped it over the keeper. World-class, indeed.
The second half was also dominated more by Barcelona. However, both teams had their chances. There were countless moments where both, Villareal or Barcelona could have scored. That is why I said that we could have scored more in this game, and conceded more as well. I think both goalkeepers deserve credit for staying solid for their teams. However, Villareal’s keeper still had a bad day after conceding three from the opposition and one from his player. Messi also hit the bar and one of the goals was disallowed by VAR. Braithwaite also connected a brilliant header.
However, that header was saved by the keeper. I think Messi deserved that goal. It was a great exchange of passes between our players when out of no-where Messi finished it beautifully in the back of the net. However, after a few speculations, Vidal was given offside and that goal was disallowed. The second half was them further dominated by our young talent. Their passion and fresh legs troubled Villareal even more. Puig, Fati, and Araujo came in later in the second half. Suarez, Sergio Busquests, Griezmann, and Pique departed the pitch to make room for these young players.
I think it is something positive from Quique Setien. He is going all out on his substitute options and I think that he is doing a great job by giving more and more playing time to our younger players. Everything was going in Barcelona’s way and it was looking as if the night is going to come to an end with a score of 1-3. However, Ansu decided that he wanted to add more to the tally and scored Barcelona’s 4 goals of the night. He was spotted by a brilliant chipped pass from Alba which he finished easily.
VILLAREAL VS BARCELONA LINEUP
Ter Stegen started in goal. I mentioned already that he was amazing once again in this encounter as well. It was one of those games where I wished the Ter Stegen had kept a clean sheet. He was active and he stood strong for us at several moments. Ter Stegen knows his role in the team and he is aware of how much the team and fans depend upon him. Ter is always one of the reasons why Barcelona puts in great performances. I think he is a blessing, and nothing less than that.
Gerrard Pique and Clement Lenglet started as the Center Backs. Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba were the Left Back and Right Back respectively. We have already discussed the lineup and the tactics behind the formation. I think it was a great day for our full-backs. They were given more freedom to attack and were allowed more space to play in. I think this was one of the reasons why this game turned out to be amazing in terms of attack. I hope we see similar kinds of gameplay and mentality in our team from now onwards.
Quique Setien’s choices in the midfield seriously did not impress me in the beginning. He chose the trio of Roberto, Busquests, and Vidal to start in the midfield. I was not pleased with this choice. However, Sergio Roberto was amazing. He was extremely swift and moved around the park with great pace and authority. His game was really good today and it has been quite long since I saw Roberto playing like this. Sergio Roberto’s performance lifted my mood and made me like the new formation Setien was trying out. I think it worked.
Vidal was not the greatest yet again. I think he is off track and needs to put a lot of focus back into his game. The competition in midfield is extremely huge at FC Barcelona right now. I think if Vidal does not get back into the zone soon, he is going to warm the bench for the rest of the games. Puig was brought in the second half. He was amazing once again. However, I wanted that he started the game. It’s ok though. All is well that ends well, right? Our midfield except Vidal was great.
Wingers and Striker:
We discussed this in a lot of detail above. I think it was a great choice to play Griezmann, Suarez, and Messi together. The best thing was that Griezmann was operating as the main number 9 player and not Suarez. This is what I badly wanted to happen ever since this football scenario resumed. At the end of the day, Griezmann pretty much told everyone what he is capable of. I think any player can have one or two bad seasons. However, we must never forget who the player is and what he has achieved.
I am proud of Griezmann, and I hope to see him shine more and more. I proudly admit that I am indeed an Antoine Griezmann fanboy and I am going to keep supporting him despite his performances. Messi was great as well. He proved that why Barcelona depends on him so much.
Anyway guys this is it from the Villareal vs Barcelona Match Review. I had a lot of fun writing this content. It was one of the best managerial performances from Setien. Let’s just hope it stays like this as long as he is in charge.
VISCA EL BARCA!