Unbeaten Barca Put Five Past Villarreal
Spanish LaLiga Report: FC Barcelona v Villarreal 09 May 2018
Result: FC Barcelona 5-1 Villarreal
Date: 09 May 2018
Venue: Camp Nou
FC Barcelona remain on course to finish the LaLiga season unbeaten after they cruised to a 5-1 win over Villarreal at the Camp Nou.
The Catalan giants were pushing for a return to winning ways after drawing 2-2 with bitter rivals Real Madrid over the weekend.
The home side took the lead this week as early as the 11th minutes as Sergio Asenjo could only parry Ousmane Dembele's effort into the path of Philippe Coutinho, who fired home from close range.
The lead was doubled five minutes later as a swift counter-attack ended with Paulinho turning home Lucas Digne's delivery.
Despite the lively start by Barca, chances dried up after 25 minutes, although the hosts continued to enjoy most of the possession.
The Yellow Submarine, however, went close to pulling a goal back on 39 minutes but Jasper Cillessen was on hand to keep out Jauma Costa's strike.
Barca managed to add a third goal on the stroke of half-time as Messi played a one-two with outgoing club legend Andres Iniesta before guiding the ball past Asenjo.
The visitors did pull a goal back 10 minutes into the second half, with Sansone firing past Cillesen from close range.
Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde responded with a change on the hour mark as Iniesta made way for Luis Suarez.
Coutinho thought he extended Barca's lead on 74 minutes but his celebrations were cut short after being flagged offside by the linesman.
With Barca comfortably leading, January signing Yerry Mina made his way onto the pitch to replace Gerard Pique for the final 10 minutes.
The hosts bagged their fourth goal with two minutes remaining as Ivan Rakitic delightfully picked out Dembele, who made no mistake from close range.
Dembele then completed his brace in the third minute of stoppage time to seal an emphatic win for the Catalan giants, who are now two games away from going an entire LaLiga campaign without defeat.