After presenting the six trophies won in 2009 to their fans, Barça took the lead in the seventh minute. Thierry Henry fired a superb first-time shot against the crossbar and Pedro Rodríguez controlled the rebound on his chest and arrowed a drive into the far corner. David Fuster made amends for an earlier miss six minutes after the break when he met Cani’s cross at the far post and beat Víctor Valdés with a low half-volley.
Villarreal goalkeeper Diego López palmed away a curling effort from substitute Andrés Iniesta in the 65th minute and Carles Puyol cleared a Giuseppe Rossi effort off the line on 87 as both sides pushed for victory. Undefeated Barcelona have 40 points from 16 matches but second-placed Real Madrid CF can overhaul them on goal difference with victory at CA Osasuna on Sunday.
Elsewhere, substitute Nikola Žigić struck in the third minute of added time to give Valencia a 1-0 win against RCD Espanyol and lift Unai Emery’s side into third, two points above Sevilla FC after the Andalusian club lost to another last-gasp goal away to Atlético. The towering Serbia striker timed his run perfectly to meet Joaquín’s cross from the right and send a glancing header into the corner of the net. In the capital, Atlético captain Antonio López headed in a Simão free-kick four minutes into added time to earn the home side three points after Renato’s 44th-minute opener for visiting Sevilla was cancelled out by Ivica Dragutinović‘s own goal shortly after the break.