BARCELONA: Champions Barcelona produced the perfect response to bitter rivals Real Madrid as they overwhelmed Champions League qualifiers Villarreal 5-0 in their La Liga opener.
The match saw a double by Lionel Messi plus goals on their league debuts for Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez after an opener from Thiago came just a day after Real had thrashed Real Zaragoza 6-0.
Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola was delighted with the manner in which his side kept a strong opposition forward line at bay.
“We only had one defender and the idea was that we would play the ball around with a lot of players in the centre of the pitch,” he said. “Following the Super Cups this was a tough game to start the season.”
Guardiola was all praise for Fabregas’ performance, who scored a vital goal, which again confirmed the impression that he has fitted in following his move from Arsenal.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 31st, 2011.