Pedri scored for FC Barcelona in a 1-0 win over Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday.
FC Barcelona opened an 11-point gap at the top of La Liga after beating Villarreal 1-0 on Sunday night. Here’s the scores, player ratings and what we learned.
Villarreal 0 – 1 FC Barcelona
marc-andre ter stegen
Angle off for Jose Luis Morales’ late first half shot. But as seen against Sevilla, he didn’t have much to do because of how well his back line usually functions. 7
Played a poor ball across the box in the first half but was strong in the tackle. Started the second half with a beautiful slalom dribble deep into Villarreal’s territory. Not as impressive as Jordi Alba last week but still steady. 7
Solid as always from the Dane. He seemed to have no real big moments to speak of, but was always in the right place at the right time to clear up any potential danger, as in stoppage time from a dangerous pass near his 18-yard box. Seen with block. 7
Called ‘unbeatable’ by the Movistar commentary team when tracking down a Yeremey Pino move to smell the move and clear the danger within 10 minutes. Picked up the yellow card for a soft hand ball, and will miss the next match. But any credit he lost for this was redeemed with another excellent clearance to stop Pino from scoring around the hour mark. He had the Spain international’s number with him all night. 9
Approaching half-time a clearance play from José Luis Morales made a meal of the play, although Pedri’s pass was not the best. Blocked a dangerous cross down the middle in the second half and another at the death. 7
frankie de jong
After a slow opening 20 minutes, the game slowly took over. The move that led to Pedry’s goal began and set up Lewandowski with a beautiful scooped chip. His six interceptions and strong tackles meant he provided Barca’s physical beating and did not set the pace with his playmaking. Made the most of his chances in the first half and completed all his dribbles. 9 – Man of the match
It was hard for him to move forward constructively because he was on the receiving end of Villarreal’s rough stuff, with members of the opposition often pretending that he had betrayed them. At times it was easy to forget he was on the pitch and although he was better against Sevilla, here he had less of an offensive role and did the off-the-ball dirty work that Xavi wanted from him. 7
Great start with a delicious through ball for Lewandowski and only got better. Another shot from a right wing cross connected with Andreas Christensen but was not enough to threaten the goal. In the 17th minute, he completed a brilliant 1–2 move with Lewandowski to put Barca ahead. Rafinha was given a free later in the first half but the Brazilian could not take advantage. A minor blip was a poor pass for Conde that the Frenchman failed to complete, playing in for José Luis Morales on the stroke of half-time. Quiet in the second half but his opening 45 was more than enough to talk about. 9
played more central in the early parts of the game and was scolded by Xavi for a foul ball when trying to set up Lewandowski. It was a tough evening, but as always, never gave up. Began to get more involved with about an hour an hour to play with better delivery. 7
Another mixed bag from the polls. A delightful Pedri pass missed a chance through the goal from the opening door and hit it straight at Pep Reina. Assisted Pedri with a lovely 1-2 move but then missed another after a lovely Frankie chip which wasn’t the easiest. Rafinha should have done better than he did in the second half. 7
The more central was able to come in due to Conde being on the right. Like Gavi, his delivery to the wings was a bit top-heavy. Although he was instrumental in the build-up to Pedri’s goal, he failed to take advantage of two peachy passes from Pedri and Lewandowski. was Xavi’s first substitution for Ferran Torres with 10 minutes remaining and received a yellow card; Although the coaches seemed happy with him. 6
What we learned:
Barca are now 11 points clear after refusing to be intimidated by a tough opponent and securing another win on the road to go 16 matches unbeaten.
The likes of Pedri, Ronald Araujo and Frankie de Jong showed themselves once again to be big game players and untouchable in the starting XI. But the team had far less hectic but still solid performances hence the ‘7’ numbers in abundance.
Some stars such as Fringe Casey and Rafinha failed to take their chances to impress, but Sergio Busquets and Ousmane Dembele are not yet in danger due to injuries.
Barcelona were good, but they may need to do better against Manchester United on Thursday in the Europa League.