Talented Yamal sparkles as Barca clinches thrilling victory against Villarreal in a high-scoring encounter
Barcelona prodigy Lamine Yamal showcased his talent in an exhilarating 4-3 victory for the reigning Spanish champions against Villarreal in La Liga on Sunday. In only his second start for the team, the 16-year-old winger impressed with two shots hitting the woodwork and providing the assist for Gavi’s opening goal in a standout performance during a chaotic match.
Polish veteran striker Robert Lewandowski sealed the win, scoring his first goal of the season after Yamal’s shot struck the post. The victory temporarily placed Barcelona in third position, with coach Xavi serving a suspension and observing from the stands. Despite facing early pressure from Villarreal, Barcelona took a two-goal lead against the run of play.
Villarreal started brightly, and goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made an excellent interception to deny Alexander Sorloth’s cut-back. Sorloth also had a goal disallowed for offside. However, Barcelona made their mark after 12 minutes when Yamal delivered a cross to the back post, finding fellow academy graduate Gavi, who headed the ball into the net.
Just three minutes later, Frenkie de Jong calmly scored Barcelona’s second goal after Alfonso Pedraza’s tackle on Lewandowski resulted in the ball falling kindly to the Dutch midfielder. With injured midfielder Pedri and left-back Alejandro Balde absent, Barcelona faced a Villarreal comeback.
Juan Foyth provided Villarreal with a foothold in the game by scoring a powerful header from Alex Baena’s corner, marking the first goal Barcelona conceded this season. Soon after, Sorloth tapped the ball into the net from Pedraza’s cross, assisted by veteran forward Gerard Moreno. Villarreal took the lead early in the second half when Pedraza set up Baena for a clinical finish.
Barcelona captain Sergi Roberto struggled at right back, but the club is close to securing the loan signing of Joao Cancelo from Manchester City for that position. Yamal continued to threaten Villarreal’s defense, hitting the crossbar with an effort as he sought to even the score for Barcelona.
Substitute Ferran Torres levelled the game for Barcelona and Lewandowski put the champions ahead. Yamal played a significant part again, with his powerful shot tipped onto the post by Villarreal goalkeeper Filip Jorgensen, but Lewandowski was in the right place at the right time to score from the rebound.
In stoppage time, Lewandowski had the opportunity to seal the victory but chose to shoot at Jorgensen instead of passing to Ansu Fati, who was in support. Yamal, filling in for suspended winger Raphinha, undoubtedly presented Xavi with a selection dilemma for the upcoming weekend when the Brazilian player returns.