FC Barcelona – Winning Back David Villa

Quite a few people have said that Barcelona’s biggest signing this summer was getting back David Villa from his long injury. So far, he hasn’t been given too many chances, but has scored twice, including in the 4-1 away win at Getafe, in the off-the-bench opportunities he has recieved. For everything else, there’s Lionel Messi.

Tito Vilanova gave some of his biggest stars a bit of rest before the Champions League kickoff, as Lionel Messi, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves got to start on the bench. In truth, with Cesc Fabregas, Thiago and Xavi as the creative midfield trio, as Fabregas drifted a bit more forward towards the Messi role, between Tello and Pedro, it didn’t work very well for most of the first half. Getafe are aggressive and pressing at home, but playing Real Madrid and Barcelona is a different thing, and while Real fit Getafe’s plans with the quick pace, Barcelona know how to help calm this kind of enthusiasm down.

Adriano’s 30th minute goal was just as important for Cesc Fabregas as it was for the Brazilian. It’s been a struggle for Cesc in this frustrating start to the season, but his stride into the box was the assist for Adriano’s goal, even if not on purpose. From then on it was much easier making it look like a regular Barcelona game, especially when Messi came on for Thiago just before the turn of the hour.

Things got more dangerous, quicker. Fabregas slipped back and looked more comfortable and effective. He added two more goals, one from the penalty spot and one for reacting quicker than anyone to a deflected cross. Just like that, six goals in four league matches, eight goals in all competitions. This time, he only needed 31 minutes.

The biggest moment was David Villa, showing why he was not too long ago one of the top 3 strikers in the world. Coming in for Tello in the 76th minute, he made a perfect job from Fabregas’ fantastic through ball, with a brilliant take down of the ball, creating separation with one touch and scoring an injury time goal. It seemed that Barcelona weren’t just winning Villa back in another goal to warm up the engines and prepare him to join the three man front rotation, but they won back Cesc Fabregas, who finished the match with two assists.

Matches in Getafe will never look perfect, but besides the ability, which was satisfying for the most part, especially in the second half when Lionel Messi came in, it’s always about comparing to what Real Madrid did, no matter what Vilanova said. Real dropped 3 points against Getafe, while Barcelona cruised to victory. In the micro-look at things, it doesn’t mean much; maybe that Barcelona are better equipped this season to handle the rough road matches.

When taking the macro-look, it might seem to some Barcelona have the better team. An 8 point lead in the La Liga, where every point dropped seems like a huge disaster to the two giants, seems like an awful lot for a head start, maybe too much to catch up with.