Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad: Grading the Barca Players in Their La Liga Opener

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Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad: Grading the Barca Players in Their La Liga Opener
Photo courtesy of Gustau Nacarino/Reuters.

So where are those people that said FC Barcelona was in decline?

This team may be as strong as they've been since the historic 2008-09 season.

Tito Vilanova had his men more than ready as Barcelona dominated Real Sociedad 5-1 at Camp Nou. 

Carles Puyol got the scoring started just three minutes into the game as he headed a Xavi corner kick into the back of the net. Lionel Messi came back were he left off last season and got a brace in the game. Pedro got on the scoreboard, too, as he received a great lob pass from Cristian Tello and put it past Sociedad goalkeeper Claudio Bravo.

In the second half, we saw Gerard Pique come in along with Andres Iniesta.

But this game will be remembered for the long awaited return of David Villa.

El guaje returned after nearly nine months out since his horrific injury in the FIFA Club World Cup last December. Villa showed good speed and the same chemistry with his his teammates that he had in the past.

But it was his goal in the 84th minute that brought all fans to their feet and a few tears to their eyes.

It was a night of firsts, too, as it was Tito Vilanova's first La Liga game and victory as manager. It looked like this Barcelona team does not miss Pep Guardiola at all, as Tito managed a fine game.

Jordi Alba made his La Liga debut with the squad and had quite a good game. Perhaps the big surprise was Cristian Tello—who has been rumored to be under consideration for a loan—started and played the entire game. Tello looked good out there as he set up Messi for the third goal and Pedro for the fourth goal.

Before we focus on Real Madrid and the Spanish Super Cup this Thursday, let's review and grade the FC Barcelona players in their impressive 5-1 victory.

The grades will be based off of an A–F grading scale.

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