Barcelona 0-2 Villarreal: Player ratings as Yellow Submarine qualify for Europa Conference League with a win

Barcelona ended their season with limp 2-0 home defeat on Sunday night against a brutally efficient Villarreal side.

While the hosts were guaranteed a second-place finish in a campaign which manager Xavi admitted ‘could have been worse’, Villarreal’s participation in European football next season relied upon this term’s Champions League semi-finalists bettering Athletic Club’s result away to Sevilla.

Despite a lack of incentives, Barcelona started well. Predictably dominating possession but pressing all over the pitch to win it back sharply. However, this proactive approach left space behind a high backline for the yellow shirts to sprint into.

Midway through the first half, Sergio Busquets was caught receiving a terrible pass from Clement Lenglet, sparking a three-v-two breakaway in Villarreal’s favour which Dani Parejo squandered with a stray ball of his own.

By the cusp of half-time, Parejo had emphatically found his range. With Dani Alves lured out of position by Manu Trigueros’ clever movement infield, Parejo popped a perfectly weighted pass into the path of the onrushing Alfonso Pedraza. Goal-side of a dozing Adama Traore, the left-back steadied himself and fired Villarreal into the lead with their second shot of the match.

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