Ousmane Dembele and summer signing from Leeds
Raphinha were both benched with Ansu Fatimaking only his second start of the season in the league.
Watch the huge win goals of Barca now!
Sergio Busquets was dropped too with Frenkie de Jong in holding midfield and,
with Eric Garcia also left out,
former Chelsea full-back Marcos Alonso was at centre-back.
The result was a 3-0 scoreline at half time
with the goals coming in just seven minutes and against a team that had previously only shipped three all season. The first on 31 minutes was a reminder of what Barcelona can do when they move the ball quickly.
who had his back to goal but with a brilliant first touch sent defenders Raul Albiol and Pau Torres sliding past him and left himself facing front to shoot past Gero Rulli.
On a nervy evening at Camp Nou after disappointing results in the Champions League and El Clasico,
Barça were frustrated in the opening half hour but a quick-fire double from Lewandowski
and another from Ansu Fati settled the contest before half time.
After watching his side go close through Fati and Ferran Torres,
Xavi almost broke out into a smile when the ruthless Lewandowski picked up Jordi Alba’s
cross and sold two Villarreal defenders before finishing under goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli for 1-0.
The home crowd first celebrated then relaxed even further when the former Bayern Munich striker made it two,
capitalising on excellent work from Pedri and Gavi to curl beautifully into the far corner from the edge of the box.
Fati then continued his comeback with his first goal since September,
eventually converting with a backheel from close range after his first effort from Torres’ pass had hit the post.
The pace of the game slowed dramatically in the second half,
allowing Barça to conserve some energy after what has been a chastening few weeks.
Their participation in the Champions League past the group stage is in major doubt following their latest disappointment against Inter,
while Clasico rivals Real added to their woes with a 3-1 victory on Sunday.
Barcelona played hosts to Villarreal tonight
as they were looking to put pressure on Real Madrid following El Clasico defeat last weekend.
Xavi made several changes to the team,
essentially axeing every player that did not play well – including Eric Garcia,
Ferran Torres and Ansu Fati formed the wings,
while Jordi Alba returned to his natural left-back role