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Barcelona 4 Villarreal 0: Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati guide Ronald Koeman to resounding opening day win

BARCELONA thumped Villarreal 4-0 to get Ronald Koeman's reign off to a winning start with Spanish wonderkid Ansu Fati running the show.

Koeman's Barcelona started their league campaign off against Unai Emery's Villarreal at the Nou Camp.

Lionel Messi started the game despite his summer bust-up with the Barcelona chiefs, which saw him try and force a move away from the club.

The Barca captain has been critical of the club's current regime, sending shots in his farewell message to close friend Luis Suarez who was forced out of the club joining league rivals Atletico Madrid.

Nonetheless, Messi and co resumed business as usual as they made a tired Villarreal side pay.

Villarreal were caught sleeping on the job early on as Ansu Fati scored Barca's first goal of their league campaign.

The winger was picked out by Alba on the penalty spot and the youngster side footed the ball into the top left corner.

Fati would double Barca's lead just four minutes later when a swift counter attack landed at his feet, he made no mistake rolling it past the helpless Asenjo between the sticks.

Messi would later join in on the act after Fati won a penalty on the half hour mark, Fati selflessly handed the penalty to the captain and Messi slammed it home.

Villarreal's evening would then go from bad to worse as Messi was dropping deeper and deeper to pull the strings.

The Barca No10 floated a wonderful ball into the penalty area in search of Sergio Busquets, and in sheer panic, Pau Torres put the ball in the back of his own net.

Referee Guillermo Cuadra Fernandez came to Villarreal's rescue with the half-time whistle, giving the visitors a much needed break and a chance to regroup.

Barca and Villarreal didn't exactly treat us to a blockbuster second half, it was an unusually slow display from the hosts and Villarreal failed to capitalise.

Fireworks being set off outside the ground proved to be the most entertaining part of the second half, with the Barcelona skyline being treated to the wonderful colours of blue and red.

The display outside would go on for a good 10 minutes, diverting the attention from the slow and boring game of football which was taking place inside the empty Nou Camp.

Messi himself looked up in awe as the sky lit up on a night where he and his apprentice Fati tore their opponents a new one.

Koeman was visibly happy when the final whistle went, and more importantly Messi was smiling again.

If Barca are going to succeed this season they need Messi to play with a smile on his face, and hopefully in his potential final season at the club, he'll sign off in style.

Luis Suarez and partner Sofia take to the pitch one last time to say goodbye to Barcelona

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