Villa's eye for goal undimmed by lengthy layoff

MADRID Sun Sep 30, 2012 2:24pm IST

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) is congratulated by team mate David Villa after scoring his second goal against Spartak Moscow during their Champions League Group G soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, September 19, 2012. REUTERS/Gustau Nacarino

Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) is congratulated by team mate David Villa after scoring his second goal against Spartak Moscow during their Champions League Group G soccer match at Nou Camp stadium in Barcelona, September 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Gustau Nacarino

MADRID (Reuters) - Barcelona striker David Villa, gradually coming back to full fitness after eight months out with a broken leg, showed he has retained his keen eye for goal when he came off the bench to snatch the winner in Saturday's 3-2 comeback victory at Sevilla.

With Barca in danger of dropping their first points of the campaign, the 30-year-old drove into the penalty area deep into added time and crashed a left-foot shot high past Andres Palop to complete a stirring fightback from two goals down.

The victory, in which Cesc Fabregas netted a double, extended the La Liga leaders' perfect record and equalled their best start to a domestic season of six straight wins.

It also meant they will be at least eight points ahead of Real Madrid - who host promoted Deportivo later on Sunday - when their arch rivals visit the Nou Camp next weekend.

"I am very happy to be able to help the team in this small amount of time in a very difficult match," Villa told reporters.

"A goal is always important but when it serves to help your team, like today, in the form of points, against a very tough opponent who was in front for a long time, it becomes even more crucial," added Spain's record scorer, who broke his leg at the Club World Cup last December.

"It's very difficult to win here, and all the more so to come from behind, but Barca battled and that's why we got three vital points."

Barca coach Tito Vilanova has used Villa sparingly since his return but may increasingly opt for the former Valencia man ahead of Chile forward Alexis Sanchez, who is yet to find his form this season.

Villa has developed a fine understanding with Barca's World Player of the Year Lionel Messi and can feed off the creative play of Spain midfielders Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Fabregas.

Before hosting champions Real, Barca play at Portuguese side Benfica in Champions League Group G on Tuesday.

(Reporting by Iain Rogers, editing by Patrick Johnston)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Formula One

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Honouring Putin

Honouring Putin

FINA stands by decision to honour Putin.  Full Article 

ATP World Tour

ATP World Tour

Murray in Tour Finals, Djokovic and Federer win.  Full Article 

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar at Olympics

Neymar to be called up for Brazil's 2016 Olympic team.  Full Article 

Rio's Suspension

Rio's Suspension

Rio faces fight to get back into QPR side, says Redknapp   Full Article 

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria vs FIFA

Nigeria set to avoid FIFA suspension after court case is dropped  Full Article 

International Career

International Career

Controversial batsman Ryder gets World Cup lifeline.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage