Barcelona 3-0 Villarreal
The first half began in fairly uptight fashion, neither side extending themselves greatly. As it wore on, Barcelona began to find more space and the first goal broke the game open. An incisive pass from Pedri found Jordi Alba down the left. His ball across was taken in a Cruyff turn away from goal by Robert Lewandowski, also away from the goalkeeper, allowing him to finish into an empty net.
Another break started by a Pedri challenge was carried on by Gavi. Lewandowski received the ball on the left side of the box, cut in and found the opposite side of the net.
In just seven minutes, Barcelona were three goals up. Ferran Torres in his favoured position on the right, came inside and dropped a defender before laying it across the six-yard box. Ansu Fati was fortunate that his scuffed finish came back to him and he was able to finish on the line.
The pressure eased on Barcelona and although Unai Emery was livid on the touchline, his side could not channel that aggression though. Alfonso Pedraza’s injury only made the half worse.
The second period meandered onwards somewhat as Barcelona were comfortable in possession and felt little need to force the matter. Raphinha came on and missed a good chance, the best of the rest of the match for either side.
The Yellow Submarine will be frustrated with a passive performance, which perhaps had something to do with the passing of Vice-President Jose Manuel Llaneza in the afternoon.
Barcelona cut the gap to Real Madrid back to three points and recovered some of their morale. Jules Kounde in central defence and Frenkie de Jong, playing in the pivot role instead of Sergio Busquets, were perhaps the most positive aspects for Xavi Hernandez.