Barcelona happy with Messi, Villa double act

Barcelona assistant manager Jordi Roura was delighted at the understanding shown between Lionel Messi and David Villa as they combined for all of Barca’s goals in the 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.

There had been suggestions in the past that the two didn’t get on, but Roura laughed off those claims and hailed the connection they have on and off the field.

“This is something I have heard many times and it has always seemed absurd to me,” he told reporters.

“There has never been a motive to say this and the relationship now is the same as it was a few months ago, that is to say it is very good.

“They have good chemistry together. We don’t need to say anything about Messi, but Villa scores goals, goes in behind and moves very well into space. They complement each other and we are very happy that they understand each other so well.”

Villa was particularly bright as he started for the fourth consecutive game for the first time since breaking his tibia 15 months ago and he opened the scoring after Messi had unlocked the Rayo defence on 25 minutes.

The Spanish international then turned provider for Messi to score twice either side of the break and after also scoring in the comeback against AC Milan on Tuesday, Roura believes his confidence has fully returned after a difficult start to the season.

“Every game is its own story and this week we have seen that Villa was fundamental for us.

“David has extraordinary quality and to have played so well and scored in such an important game as that against Milan was a huge confidence boost.

“This week he has helped us a lot and it is a great joy to see.”

The only downside for Barca was an injury to Adriano that is set to keep him out for four to six weeks.

And Roura is worried that with captain Carles Puyol also out for the forseeable future, he has little in reserve when it comes to defensive options to compensate for the Brazilian’s absence.

“It is the negative part of today’s game and comes in a four to six week period that will be crucial for us,” he said.

“You also have to bear in mind that Puyol is out and that is a problem for us, but we have a great squad and we have to look for solutions even if we are a bit stretched.”

Rayo boss Paco Jemez meanwhile was proud of his side’s display despite the defeat.

“I am a winner. I don’t like to lose but I don’t think there has been a prouder coach of his team that I am of mine today despite the fact we have lost.

“We had our chances, but when you commit errors against Barcelona they make you pay.”

Read more :
  • ROSE VICTORY INSPIRES ENGLISH GOLFERS
    ARDMORE, Pennsylvania: Justin Rose’s breakthrough win at the US Open could open the door for England’s golden generation of golfers to finally make their collective mark in the record books...
  • Prandelli mum on team for Malta qualifier
    Italy coach Cesare Prandelli will leave the selection of his starting line-up for Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Group B's bottom side Malta until the last minute. Before leaving fo...
  • Real Madrid’s sublime 5-2 win at home vs Mallorca
    Five blistering minutes early in the second half were enough to silence the alarm bells that were ringing around the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and put Real Madrid on the way to a 5-2 win at...
  • Li rediscovers grand slam magic to make semis
    MELBOURNE - Winning Asia's first grand slam singles title became a burden that sapped the confidence out of Li Na, but the 30-year-old Chinese felt it come flooding back in reaching her thi...
  • La Salle aims for back-to-back overall dominance
    De La Salle University is looking for a back-to-back general championship when the University Athletic Association of the Philippines (UAAP) Season 76 men’s basketball competitions begins o...
  • Police probe David Nalbandian for alleged assault
    David Nalbandian is under investigation for alleged assault by police after a complaint was lodged to the authorities following the Argentina professional's outburst at the Queen's final. ...
  • Murray shoots down weary Simon to reach last eight
    MELBOURNE - Andy Murray made harder work of it than many expected but still eased comfortably into the quarter-finals of the Australian Open with a 6-3 6-1 6-3 victory over weary Frenchman ...
  • Rafael Nadal hails “unbelievable” Andy Murray
    Rafael Nadal had no complaints following his loss to Andy Murray in the Japanese Open final earlier today. The Spaniard appeared to be on his way to victory when he took the first set 6-3 ...