Pique, Alena score in Barcelona’s 2-0 win over stubborn Villareal at Camp Nou

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Coach Ernesto Valverde’s Barcelona returned to winning ways for the first time since November 11 following their 2-0 victory over Villareal at the Camp Nou.

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Spanish defender Gerard Pique opened scoring for the Catalans in the 35th minute after heading home an Ousmane Dembele’s cross from the right flank.

Carles Alena however sealed the victory for the Catalans after chipping the ball above goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo in the 87th minute following a precise pass from Lionel Messi.

The 20-year-old was introduced into the game in the 70th minute to replace Arturo Vidal and barely three minutes left to play, he scored his first senior goal for the club.

Barca are however back at the summit of the table temporarily until Sevilla battle Deportivo Alaves at the Mendizorrotza Stadium later this evening.

The Yellow Submarine gave their hosts a run for their money with former Arsenal star Santi Carzola piercing through the Blaugrana’s defence but were unlucky converting their chances.

Nigeria international Samuel Chukwueze also gave account of his inclusion in starting line up after threatening Jordi Alba with his swift and intelligent moves.

The 19-year-old recently made his senior debut for the Super Eagles but in a friendly encounter against Angola during last FIFA international window in November.

Akahi News recalls that Ousmane Dembele rescued a point for Barcelona after coming from the bench to score late minute goal at the Wanda Metropolitano.

Diego Costa headed the hosts ahead from an Antoine Griezmann corner kick in the 80-minute mark.

They however failed to hold on to their lead for long as the Russia 2018 World Cup winning star ensured the Catalans avoided defeat in the meeting.

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