Lionel Messi was making his first appearance for Barcelona after he returned from Copa America with an injury that kept recurring and his appreance came with an assist.
Messi, who had recovered from a calf injury to feature, was replaced at the start of the second half after suffering a thigh problem.
The Argentine, making his 400th La Liga start, provided the corner for Antoine Griezmann to head home off the bar before Arthur made it 2-0.
Villareal managed to pull one back through former Arsenal captain Santi Carzola but it wasn’t enough to bring the Yellow marines back into the game.
After the game, Barca boss Ernesto Valverde described Messi’s injury as a “small problem in the adductor”.
“When something happens to Messi, everyone stops, not only on the field, but in the stands as well,” he said.
“As a precaution we have decided not to risk it. In theory, it is nothing more but we will see tomorrow how it is.”
Although far from their fluent best, Barcelona climbed four places up the table to fourth in La Liga to help ease the pressure on Valverde after a poor start to the season.
After his injury, the Barca captain received treatment on the edge of the pitch before carrying on until half-time.
The forward was replaced by French striker Ousmane Dembele at the start of the second half. It was a good show for the Frenchman who was also just making his return from injury.
Ernesto will hope that the medical team will be able to ensure that the Argentine returns back to full fitness ahead of another away game. Barcelona have had a torrid spell on the journey and will need inspiration from team captain and leader Messi.
Author: Moses Echodu
Moses is an avid Sports and Tech enthusiast. He loves to keep up to date with all the latest information and research on some of the most compelling stories.