Messi-Villa double act a Barca bonus
After victory over Rayo, Jordi Roura dismisses as absurd of rumours the pair do not get along
Barcelona assistant manager Jordi Roura was delighted at the understanding between Lionel Messi and David Villa as they combined for all of Barca's goals in a 3-1 win over Rayo Vallecano.
There had been suggestions in the past that the two did not get on, but Roura laughed off those claims and hailed the connection they have on and off the field.
"This is something I have heard many times and it has always seemed absurd to me," he said. "There has never been a motive to say this and the relationship now is the same as it was a few months ago, that is to say it is very good.
"They have good chemistry together. We don't need to say anything about Messi, but Villa scores goals, goes in behind and moves very well into space. They complement each other and we are very happy that they understand each other so well."
Villa was particularly bright as he started for the fourth consecutive game for the first time since breaking his tibia 15 months ago and he opened the scoring after Messi had unlocked the Rayo defence on 25 minutes.
The Spanish international then turned provider for Messi to score twice either side of the break and after also scoring in the comeback against AC Milan last Tuesday, Roura believes his confidence has fully returned after a difficult start to the season.
"Every game is its own story and this week we have seen that Villa was fundamental for us.
"David has extraordinary quality and to have played so well and scored in such an important game as that against Milan was a huge confidence boost. This week he has helped us a lot and it is a great joy to see."
The only downside for Barca was an injury to Adriano that may keep him out for four to six weeks.
And Roura is worried that with captain Carles Puyol also out for the long term, he has little in reserve when it comes to defensive options to compensate for the Brazilian's absence.
"It is the negative part of today's game and comes in a four- to six-week period that will be crucial for us," he said.
"You also have to bear in mind that Puyol is out and that is a problem for us, but we have a great squad and we have to look for solutions even if we are a bit stretched."
Rayo boss Paco Jemez, meanwhile, was proud of his side's display despite the defeat.
"I am a winner. I don't like to lose but I don't think there has been a prouder coach of his team than I am of mine today despite the fact we have lost.
"We had our chances, but when you commit errors against Barcelona they make you pay."