Late goals from Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho sealed Barcelona’s first away win of the LaLiga season, as they beat Villarreal 31 on Saturday to become two of two wins in the lower division. Xavi Hernandez’s time.
Memphis capitalized on a Villarreal mistake in the 88th minute, circling goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli and returning home before his substitute Coutinho won and took the penalty in injury time to earn all three points.
Frenkie de Jong scored in the 48th minute, but Samuel Chukwueze came on from the bench to equalize and set up an exciting 15-minute final.
Barcelona remains fifth after winning back-to-back league games for the first time this season, but they are now just three points away from the LaLiga Champions League playoffs. Villarreal, managed by Unai Emery, remain in 12th place.
“They’re three important points, but it was a really difficult game,” Xavi stated afterward. “We didn’t dominate as much as we thought.” We need to improve our ball control. We must improve. We were quite fortunate. Villarreal deserved to lose.
“Of my three games in charge, this was the one we controlled the least and deserved to lose the least.” We suffered greatly in the second half and towards the conclusion of the first. We were unable to play under their pressure. It was quite difficult. It was a wonderful day for a straight play.”
After defeating Espanyol in Xavi’s first league match last weekend, Barca immediately began playing against Villarreal. Fortunately, Dani Parejo evaded the red card with a two-minute foul by Sergio Busquets and played an incidental match for both teams.
Teenagers Abde Ezzalzouli and Gavi hit the woodwork for visitors in the first half. Memphis shot beyond the goal after an impressive De Jong did a good job.
Villarreal also had a chance, and it was sad that Gerard Piqué didn’t get an early penalty when he blocked Danjuma’s hands hot with Eric Garica’s mistake.
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