In an enthralling match, Barcelona secured a 4-3 triumph over Villarreal, marking a notable victory for the hosts who had won just one of the past 29 LaLiga head-to-head encounters.
Villarreal started strong, capitalizing on Barcelona’s recent slow beginnings. A disallowed goal by Alexander Sørloth and a missed opportunity by Álex Baena showcased Villarreal’s dominance despite their unlucky start and the absence of Ronald Araújo.
Contrary to the flow of play, Barcelona surged into a commanding lead within three minutes. Young talent Lamine Yamal set up Gavi for a headed goal, followed by Frenkie de Jong’s close-range strike. Villarreal, however, made a comeback, with Juan Foyth and Sørloth netting goals. The second half saw an early Villarreal goal countered by Baena, and Barcelona’s mental fortitude shone as Ferran Torres and Robert Lewandowski secured a quick double.
The unrelenting energy of Quique Setién’s men earned them applause, despite settling for second place. This intense encounter showcased Barcelona’s determination to defend their La Liga title.