Barcelona 0-2 Villarreal: Xavi's side end season with dire defeat

By Sports Desk May 22, 2022

Barcelona's season ended with a whimper as Villarreal sealed a 2-0 LaLiga win at Camp Nou on Sunday.

The Catalan club's spot in next season's Champions League was secured earlier in May, yet Xavi will be disappointed his side have ended the campaign with just a solitary point from their final two games.

They went behind late in the first half through Alfonso Pedraza's strike, before Moi Gomez sealed maximum points for Unai Emery's men in the second half.  

The result meant second-placed Barca ended the campaign a whopping 13 points behind champions Real Madrid, while Villarreal finished seventh.

Adama Traore flashed over and Ferran Torres was denied by Geronimo Rulli inside a bright opening 10 minutes for the hosts.

Barca looked the more likely to open the scoring inside the opening half hour, yet all they had to show for their dominance was a Sergio Busquets strike that flew narrowly over the crossbar.

The inability to take advantage of their superiority was punished four minutes before the interval as Alfonso Pedraza latched onto Daniel Parejo's pass and steered past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Villarreal doubled their advantage in the 55th minute when Gomez lashed into the roof of net after cutting out Traore's dismal attempted clearance. 

Frenkie de Jong had an effort ruled out for offside late on as Barca tried in vain to find their way back into the game. 

What does it mean? Villarreal end dire run against insipid hosts

Xavi has done well to steady the Barca ship after a chaotic start to the season, yet he will be disappointed with the way his players' intensity has dropped off in the final two games of the season.

Victory for Villarreal, meanwhile, ended a run of 10 straight LaLiga defeats at Camp Nou, which was their worst run of successive away losses against a single opponent in the competition's history.

Pass master Parejo

Parejo's superb pass for Pedraza's goal saw him move level with Athletic Bilbao's Iker Muniain and Barca's Jordi Alba as LaLiga's top assister this season (10). It is the most he has ever achieved in his 14 seasons playing in the Spanish top flight.

Torrid time for Traore

Barca are not expected to take up the option of turning Traore's loan move from Wolves into a permanent one and it was not hard to see why on this evidence. The 26-year-old offered nothing in attack and was directly responsible for Villarreal's second goal – his last act before being hauled off for Ousmane Dembele.

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