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Barcelona routs Villarreal 5-0 in Spanish opener

SHARE Barcelona routs Villarreal 5-0 in Spanish opener

BARCELONA, Spain — Lionel Messi and Thiago Alcantara led Barcelona to a dominating 5-0 win over Villarreal on Monday to open the defending champion's campaign for a fourth straight Spanish league title.

Despite a makeshift defense and coming off a European Super Cup victory just three days before, Barcelona responded to Real Madrid's 6-0 rout of Zaragoza over the weekend with another display of its own beautiful game.

Thiago struck first for the European champions, and Cesc Fabregas doubled the score from an assist from Messi before halftime.

The 20-year-old Thiago then found new signing Alexis Sanchez to extend Barcelona's advantage, and Messi capped the victory at Camp Nou with a pair of goals from passes from Iniesta and Thiago.