Villarreal vs Barcelona - Competition: Spanish Primera Division
Like almost every season, experts and fans expect the FC Barcelona to win La Liga. The second place last season, three points behind Campeones Atletico Madrid, was a big disappointment for the successful team in red and blue. In thefirst round of the Spanish league, they had their home-opener against Elche. Manager Luis Enrique had his liga debut and the crowd at Camp Nou was happy after the game. Luis Enrique made a surprising move by giving 18 year old Munir El Haddadi the opportunity to have his starting eleven debut at home in the first round. This happened because brazilian striker Neymar Junior is still injured and the recently arrived Suarez missed the game because of his “biting suspension”. Like almost every opponent of Barca, Elche tried to establish a stable defense to prevent the big club from scoring. But on that day, Elche couldn`t stop Barca. They controlled the game from the beginning and had some good shots that hit the post (Munir) or the cross-bar (Iniesta). Just before the half-time whistle, super star Messi took control over the ball and after running by three or four opponent players, he beat the goalkeeper with a shot in the lower left corner. Elche tried to react and started an energetic attack right from the kick-off. Elche player Gonzales broke through and was fouled by Mascherano. In the view of the referee he was the last man so Mascherano got sent off. After the break, Munir managed to score his first goal in La Liga, a big moment for the 18-year old youngster. Messi scored again and made it a 3:0 win. A great start into the season and a result that put Barca where they want to be - in first place.
Like their opponents, Villareal had a great start into the new season.They had to play against Levante, a team that finished the last season 4 positions and 11 points behind them. Because of that, the “submarines” got into this game with quite high expectations. They started the match like they wanted to win it during the first five minutes. They showed an active, motivated and aggressive style of football that brought the hosts in trouble early on. Two chances for Cheryshev, one chance missed by Uche and a hard shot from Giovani were the outcome of this dominance. Levante tried to score through counter-attacks, but Villareal could prevent that from happening. But the “submarines” couldn`t score and Levante found into the game after the big pressure in the first 30 minutes. However in the 56th minute, Villareals got what they`ve worked for. Cani found Uche with a nice pass and he beat the goalkeeper on a one-on-one. The goal forced Levante to be more offensive, that provided some space for Villareal to seal the deal. Five miutes before injury time Cheryshev finished off a nice combination and Villareal could celebrate their first three points.Villareal finished the last season on the 6th place and they can cause trouble for many teams in Spain, when in good form.