Match Today: Barcelona vs Villarreal 20-10-2022 La Liga
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Barcelona are looking to recover from a disappointing defeat in the Clasico this weekend, as they welcome Villarreal at the Camp Nou on Thursday.
The hosts lost 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, while the visiting team secured a much-needed 2-0 win over Osasuna. Prior to Sunday's defeat, Barcelona were virtually unstoppable in La Liga, winning seven consecutive games by a 20-1 aggregate score. , since the opening day's draw with Rayo Vallecano.
Such a domineering domestic form helped set up a grand Clásico, with Xavi's men sitting at the top of the table, equal on points with their formidable rivals entering the 250th edition of the historic bout.
The opening goal at the Santiago Bernabeu on Sunday, from Ballon d'Or winner Karim Benzema, was the first the Catalans conceded in 624 minutes of La Liga, but it took only 23 more to add a second, in the first half. Half of the screen that swept the game out of reach.
Barcelona vs Villarreal
While Ferran Torres was able to close the gap in the second half, an unusual attacking performance from Robert Lewandowski led the FC Barcelona team to struggle and, ultimately, failed to save a point, as Rodrigo Goes finished the win with a penalty in injury time.
After a frustrating 3-3 draw with Inter Milan in the Champions League, it is now imperative that the hosts not let their confidence slip, with a selection of potential Banana League matches lying on either side of an all-or-nothing confrontation.
With Bayern Munich, not only is it staring at the crater of an early exit from Europe, but any dip in focus in LaLiga could spell a harsh withdrawal from Real Madrid for good.
Villarreal vs Barcelona
On the other hand, the visiting team will be hoping to take advantage of a fan's 2-0 win over Osasuna on Monday evening, as Arno Danjuma scored his first league goals this season with a fine brace.
Unai Emery's men had a slight dip in form after a solid start to the season, with uninspiring defeats to top four rivals Real Betis and Real Sociedad, along with a monotonous draw with Cadiz and Getafe, where the yellow submarine witnessed its downfall.
However, having secured their passage to the UEFA League knockout stages, the club from Castellón looked to their confirmed selves during their weekend win, with Alex Baena continuing to impress in the absence of mascot Gerard Moreno.
Villarreal scored their first victory over Barcelona in 27 attempts last season, with a 2-0 win over Xavi's team at the Camp Nou. The hosts have a lot to play for this time around, and they should give a tougher test.