A tough away venue didn’t stop Barcelona from picking up three more points, coming away with a 1-0 win over Villarreal at El Madrigal thanks to a goal from Sandro Ramirez who was one of the few players who changed the match coming off the bench.
Lionel Messi? He only did the brilliant job of setting up the goal in the 81st minute. It was a debut for the 19 year old, as Luis Enrique presents another player who did some excellent work during the preseason and will have big role to play during this season.
Xavi and Neymar were also introduced in the second half and helped Barcelona get the needed pressure on the battered Villarreal defense, which looked a little bit lost after Jaume Costa had to leave due to an injury.
A win is nice, but Barcelona have quite a few thins to worry about. You might have guessed it: Their defense, which this time had the duo of Jeremy Mathieu and Gerard Pique in the middle of it.
Sergio Busquets simply isn’t the player he was two and three years ago, and the defensive midfield for Barcelona, especially with Rafinha playing in the middle as well, was simply too weak on too many occasions. Dani Alves sometimes looks like a joke in his attempts to cover the right wing, but that’s nothing new.
Barcelona have spent a lot of money this summer but seem to be also going back to basics: Plenty of home grown talent and not being afraid of giving them a chance. It might look less glamorous and lead to some growing pains and tough wins, but it might be worth it for a very long time.