#3 Unai Emery's tactics shot Villarreal in the foot
Over the past few years, most La Liga sides have decided to take a pragmatic approach to games at the Camp Nou. Unai Emery, however, threw caution to the wind and decided to beat Barcelona at their own game in their own backyard.
The plan backfired almost immediately as the likes of Philippe Coutinho, Lionel Messi, and Frenkie de Jong found plenty of space to work their magic in the first half. Villarreal have one of the most formidable squads in La Liga but the likes of Dani Parejo, Francis Coquelin, Gerard Moreno, and Paco Alcacer were let down by their manager's tactics tonight.
The introduction of Vicente Iborra and Manu Trigueros added some much-needed steel to Villarreal's midfield in the second half but it was already far too late to salvage the game. Barcelona's 4-0 lead from the first half allowed them to play the remainder of the game at an easy pace and Unai Emery will have to learn from the mistakes he made today.
#2 Barcelona's 4-2-3-1 works wonders for Coutinho
Philippe Coutinho has been something of an enigma over the past two seasons. The Brazilian maestro is capable of sheer magic on the pitch but has failed to fit in at the Catalan club.
Ernesto Valverde tried to squeeze the former Liverpool star into a 4-3-3 system that saw Coutinho pushed to the left flank. The midfielder's proclivity towards the centre of the pitch made him a predictable player in La Liga and his career at Barcelona began to falter.
Ronald Koeman, however, has decided to play Philippe Coutinho in his preferred central attacking midfield role and the Brazilian repaid his manager's faith in him by putting in an excellent performance today. Coutinho's time with Bayern Munich has certainly helped his cause and the Brazilian looked to understand his teammates on the pitch for the first time in his Barcelona career tonight.
#1 The dawn of a new era or more false promise?
Barcelona will be thrilled with their performance tonight but cannot afford to become complacent. The club is undergoing a period of transition at the moment and will have to be on guard against lapses in concentration.
Barcelona endured one of their worst La Liga campaigns in recent history last season and still managed to pull off some memorable victories at the Camp Nou. The Catalans have always been a mesmerising force at home and Villarreal's tactics and approach to the game were undercooked at best.
The Blaugrana suffered some of their worst La Liga defeats away from home this year and their mid-week trip to Celta Vigo should give a clearer indication of the trials that await this young and untested Barcelona squad. Ronald Koeman and his men do have plenty of cause for celebration tonight but Barcelona's fight to return to the top has only just begun.