Barcelona happy with Messi, Villa double act
Updated: 2013-03-19 05:39
By Agence France-Presse in Madrid (China Daily)
Barcelona's Lionel Messi is congratulated by teammates after his second goal during the Spanish first division match against Rayo Vallecano at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona on Sunday. Barcelona won 3-1. Gustau Nacarino / Reuters
Duo combines for all three goals in 3-1 victory over Rayo Vallecano
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 said. "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 defense 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 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 than I am of mine today despite the fact we have lost."
(China Daily 03/19/2013 page22)