Pedri's first-half goal earns Xavi's side all three points

Villarreal 0-1 Barcelona: Pedri’s first-half goal earns Xavi’s side a sixth straight LaLiga win as they extend their lead at the top of the table to ELEVEN points

  • Barcelona sealed all three points as they edged one step closer to LaLiga title
  • Pedri scored the only goal of the game as he gave his side control in the match
  • Xavi’s side now have an 11 point lead at the top of the table ahead of Real Madrid 

Xavi’s Barcelona moved 11 points clear at the top of La Liga four days ahead of their Europa League meeting with Manchester United.

Real Madrid can close the gap back to eight when they play on Wednesday but this is a healthy gap nurtured by Pedri’s goals from midfield and Barcelona’s watertight defence.

Barcelona have now won 1-0 five times this year and it was another resounding show of defensive solidity. Andreas Christensen and Ronald Araujo has emerged as the best central defensive partnership in the division and everything bounced off them.

Pepe Reina went up for a corner in added time but there was no way through and a neat finish from Pedri past a goalkeeper who made his La Liga debut before the Barça midfielder was born settled it.

Barcelona could have scored inside three minutes when Pedri put Robert Lewandowski through. Reina came out to block his shot. The pass had deserved a better finish.

Pedri’s first-half goal, after an excellent move, was enough to give Barcelona all three points

Robert Lewandowski (right) took a break from scoring and turned provider for Pedri’s goal

When the opening goal did come it was roles reversed with Pedri scoring from Lewandowski’s assist. It was an excellent team goal with Jules Kounde winning the ball high up the pitch and Frenkie de Jong playing it quickly into Pedri. He swapped passes with Lewandowski and Pedri scored his sixth league goal of the season.

It could have been two when De Jong scooped a pass over the top for Lewandowski and his shot was saved by Reina.

It was Pedri’s slip, in added time at the end of the half that almost led to Villarreal’s equaliser. Jose Luis Morales was sent sprinting clear but he shot into the side-netting as Marc Andre ter Stegen closed the angle. He celebrated the miss like a keeper who has still only conceded seven goals all season in La Liga.

Villarreal were bolder after the break with Samu Chukwueze on as part of a front three that asked far more questions of Barcelona than the 4-4-2 had in the first period.

Lewandowski then over hit a final ball to Raphinha allowing Reina to come out and claim. The Polish forward was struggling to find his range – he did moments later with a pass and this time it was Raphinha who erred with the finish.

Pedri then put Lewandowski through but Reina was lightning quick out of his area to block.

Villarreal kept pushing but substitute Fer Niño’s shot went well wide. The home side had missed first choice centre-forward Gerard Moreno lacking a someone to finish their patient build-up.

With a minute left the ball was in the net from Chukwueze but the flag was up. Yeremy Pino was fractionally offside before he stepped back onside to play the assist.

There was a late claim of handball against Kounde but the ball had struck him in the stomach not the arm and instead of pointing to the spot referee Alejandro José Hernández pointed to the dressing rooms, blowing the whistle on another 1-0 win.

Xavi’s side have now gone 11 points clear at the top of the table as they edge closer to the title

Barcelona face Manchester United in their next game as they look to take control in Europe 

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