Super Eagles winger, Samuel Chukwueze was conspicuously missing as Villarreal lost 3-0 to Barcelona in Thursday’s La Liga match, Abbeylivenetwork.com reports.
The Nigerian international, was making his 9th appearance, has bagged one assist in the ongoing.
A disappointing week for Barcelona that saw near elimination from the UEFA Champions League and a humbling 3-1 El Clásico defeat, meant the pressure was increasing on Xavi to turn around the patchy run of form. A fast start would have settled the nerves and Ansu Fati’ nearly delivered, but his snapshot in the opening minutes flashed just wide of the post.
Villarreal had no sympathy for Barca’s mini-plight, as one win in five La Liga games meant issues had arisen in recent weeks for the Yellow Submarine. Despite playing on the backfoot in the opening exchanges, Arnaut Danjuma nearly stunned the Camp Nou when he fired into the side netting from close range. Barca soon turned on the style to ease any earlier tension and Lewandowski struck a three-minute brace, with a neat turn and finish in the area for his first before curling an unstoppable effort past Rulli from the edge of the area. Eager to get in on the action, Fati then scored his first goal since early September as he bundled in Ferran Torres’ whipped cross before Half time.
With a joint-league low of two goals scored on the road this season, any Villarreal comeback in the second half would have been verging on the miraculous and Barcelona continued to control proceedings in the second period, repelling the visitor’s attacks with ease. Raphinha nearly added to Villarreal’s woes in the closing stages, but the Barca substitute scuffed wide from six yards.
It was a purely dominant performance from Xavi’s Barcelona, capped expertly by a clinical Lewandowski performance, and the Catalan side remain unbeaten at home in five La Liga matches this season – the perfect remedy following a week of turmoil. Villarreal rarely threatened throughout and a failure to score in their last five away contests equals their longest goalless run on the road in La Liga since September 2011.