FC Barcelona 2-0 Villarreal: Hits and Flops | LaLiga 2018-19
This weekend, FC Barcelona defeated Villarreal at home by a two-goal margin and went straight to the top of the LaLiga table. They managed to stay on top going into the next matchday following Sevilla's draw with Alaves.
The Yellow Submarine never really looked threatening bar the one or two opportunities that they failed to take early on. Ousmane Dembele and Nelson Semedo caused problems from the right wing. After failing to take many chances, Barcelona finally took the lead thanks to a header from Gerard Pique. The closest that Villarreal would get to scoring was through Gerard Moreno. His shot deflected off the post.
A terrible miscommunication could have lead to a Villarreal goal but it did not materialise. Clement Lenglet neither cleared nor headed the bouncing ball to Ter Stegen. Both players hoped for each other to make the first move before Villarreal pinched it dangerously. The shot, however, was blocked by the defence.
Villarreal tried to play more possession than counter attacking but their attacks did not have the venom to threaten the defence. Villarreal introduced Carlos Bacca to add some attacking prowess but no impact was made by the substitute. Villarreal's frustrations were visible on the pitch as they made a few rash tackles on Busquets and Messi. Moreno and Pique simply wouldn't back down from a face-off.
Valverde substituted Arturo Vidal with former Barca B captain Carles Aleña. The Chilean was visibly unhappy on his substitution and winked at his coach before moving to the bench. The substitute made his impact to seal the game for Barcelona. Messi's through ball sent the midfielder in behind the defence before his delightful chip beat Asenjo.
Here are five hits and flops from the game.
#5 Hit: Arturo Vidal
The Chilean was seemingly very unhappy with his substitution. Not only him, but the Camp Nou was also not impressed by Barcelona's coach for taking Vidal off. The crowd applauded Vidal off the pitch before while jeering Ernesto Valverde.
Aleña's introduction wasn't a mistake and was also a good decision. But it would have been better if Rakitic was taken out. Vidal ran tirelessly from box to box while being involved in build up towards the goal. He did a lot of dirty work in the middle of the park with his physicality. He won two aerial duels and made three tackles.
Vidal's tireless work was appreciated by the fans and he certainly deserved to play the whole 90 minutes. Vidal's box to box work makes him the engine of the team.