Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal: 3 reasons why the Blaugrana won
By no means was it a comfortable victory, and Villarreal would've made them pay had they been able to create more clear-cut chances. But, Barcelona dominated the game in parts today. They showed control that they lacked in their previous games, and that's a step forward for Ernesto Valverde and his team.
Barcelona started the game well. They kept most of Villarreal's threat at bay and made plenty of inroads going forward. The breakthrough came in the 6th minute when Lionel Messi's inswinging corner found Antoine Griezmann and the French forward glanced the ball home to put the Blaugrana ahead.
Barely 10 minutes later, Arthur Melo would double the home side's advantage with a screamer from range. Although they didn't particularly create much for the rest of the half, they remained well in control.
Santi Cazorla's goal came at the end of the half in dramatic fashion as Barcelona failed to close him down and the maestro took advantage to unleash a dipping, swerving shot that moved away from a diving Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Despite Villarreal's consistent efforts they couldn't get back into the game, and towards the end of the game, Barcelona seized control once again, but they couldn't make their chances count.
#3 The forward trio
Barcelona have had some brilliant attacking combinations in the past, but you can't blame anyone for being excited about watching Luis Suarez, Messi and Griezmann in the same attack. This was the first game they started together as Messi made his way back from injury.
For the short time that they were on the pitch in the first half, they showed plenty of good link-up play that has the potential to blossom into something formidable.
The one criticism of this trio could be that they're very narrow and central. So, Barcelona have to find width elsewhere on the pitch, which segues well into my next point.