Barcelona: Víctor Valdés;
Mascherano, Busquets, Abidal; Thiago, Keita, Cesc Fábregas (Jonathon Dos
Santos 69'), Iniesta (Xavi 55'); Alexis, Messi, Pedro (Villa 66'). 3-4-3.
Villarreal: Diego López; Zapata, Gonzalo, Musacchio, Joan Oriol; Cani (Wakaso 58'), Marchena, Bruno, Borja Valero (Camuñas 49'); Nilmar (Marcos Senna 54'), Rossi. 4-4-2.
1-0. 25. Thiago. Ran through from midfield and steered shot wide of Diego López.
2-0. 45. Fàbregas. Picked up Messi through ball and rounded keeper to score.
3-0. 47. Alexis. Ran on to Thiago's lifted pass and struck angled shot past keeper.
4-0. 52. Messi. Collected Iniesta return pass and ran on to turn shot past Diego.
5-0. 75. Messi. Got in front of marker to turn Thiago cross in to net from close up.
Yellow cards: Zapata 20', Mascherano 33', Fàbregas 34', Alexis 48', Wakaso 83', Marchena 87'.
Any doubts that we are in for another two horse race this season were dissipated when Barcelona beat Villarreal 5-0 on Monday evening. With five back men out through injury or suspension, Guardiola put out a line-up with only one natural defender, Abidal. But even he wasn't needed as the Catalans over-ran the team who finished fourth in the league last season. Alexis, Messi and Busquets all went close before Thiago ran through from midfield to open the scoring midway through the first half. Messi set up Fàbregas for a second on the stroke of half time, and two minutes after the restart Thiago put Alexis through for a third on his La Liga debut. Messi then added two more from Iniesta and Thiago assists to take his team up to second in the table, just a goal short of Madrid, who scored six in Zaragoza on Sunday. Nobody else has a realistic look-in this year.