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Lionel Messi / FOTO: A. CAPARRÓS - FCB

Both teams play neat football, but Barça is at a different level. Pressure, intensity, possession, and instinct make all the difference, and this Monday Barça had it all. The 5-0 win against a team in the Champions League just demonstrated the ambition of these players who never have enough. Sanchez and Cesc scored, Messi scored twice, and a sublime Thiago Alcantara got the other.

Audacity from the start

Starting with a 3 man defence of Sergio, Abidal, and Mascherano, Barça made their intentions clear from the start. They wanted to have the ball from the kick-off and were totally successful in their aim. With a midfield full of ball-players, Thiago, Cesc, and Iniesta, and one defensive pivot, Keita, Guardiola's side went for everything from the first minute. They controlled the game, and created the better chances, although at times the final pass went astray.
Thiago, who helped in defense, covering the right hand side, also got forward a lot. Proof of this was the first goal. A fabulous Thiago run high up the field brought the goal. Thiago went alone and, spurred on by the fans, got to the edge of the area, and with a low cross-shot beat Diego Lopez, to make it 1-0, in the 25th minute.

A lethal Fabregas

In his debut in the League with Barça, and at the Camp Nou, Cesc showed all his qualities, from helping out in defence, to getting into the box, without forgetting the combinations with his teammates. From one of these combinations, in the 44th minute, he made it 2-0. Messi, well inside the Villareal half, spotted Cesc's run, and hit a superb through ball, that Fabregas took in his stride, rounded Diego Lopez, and slid the ball into the net.

Total domination

In the second half the story was the same. Same script, same actors, but 2 of the forwards hadn't scored yet .The goal to make it 3-0, right at the start of the second half, fell to the Chilean, Alexis Sanchez, making his debut at the Camp Nou, who hit a low drive into the back of the net after a fantastic pass from Thiago. The striker from Tocopilla now knows what it's like to score in the Camp Nou.

The fourth goal came from the best player in the world. Iniesta hit a brilliant pass into space, and Messi rounded Diego Lopez, to make it 4-0. The goal was Messi's 100th in the Camp Nou, a truly amazing statistic.

The icing on the cake

Four goals ahead, Barca took their foot off the gas a bit, but not much. Pep took the opportunity to make three changes, and on came Xavi, Villa, and Dos Santos, but there was time to marvel once again with a fifth goal. Again, a superbly timed pass from Thiago, two assists and a goal in the game, reached Messi in the 6 yard box, who slotted the ball past the keeper to make it 5-0, in the 74th minute.

Then, in the last fifteen minutes, Barça stayed faithful to their style of play. Playing one and two touch football they had Villarreal chasing shadows, just like they had over the 90 minutes. A fabulous start to the season against a rival who are playing in the Champions League.

ELS GOLS

1-0 Thiago (25')
2-0 Fàbregas (44’)
3-0 Alexis (47’)
4-0 Messi (51’)
5-0 Messi (74’)

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