Osasuna vs. Barcelona: 5 Things We Learned
If their first home game of the La Liga season was as straightforward as it gets, then the first away game could not have been more different.
Although most importantly the result was the same, there were more question marks than answers as Barca left Pamplona on Sunday evening.
Lionel Messi was again the savior as Tito Vilanova's men took maximum points to keep an early four-point cushion between themselves and Madrid.
Here are five things we learned following the 2-1 victory...
Tito Won't Go Quietly
Perhaps the biggest shock of the night saw Tito Vilanova given his marching orders for complaining to the linesman in the 73rd minute.
Barca have announced they will be appealing the decision but the frustration was clearly evident for the new coach in a match that was initially seen as a nice warm up to the second El Clasico.
While some may see the crack as a worrying sign for future high pressure situations, the fact that Vilanova is expressing his thoughts so early into the season is a very good sign.
Many wondered whether the quiet thinker had what it takes to replace Guardiola, and while that question still remains, one's thing is for certain: He won't got without a fight.
Victor's on Borrowed Time
If Valdes thought Camp Nou was a lonely place last week, then he better be prepared for isolation at the Bernabeu.
THAT mistake was unforgivable, especially for a player under plenty of pressure going into the season.
And there weren't many good points to come out of the Osasuna game either.
His distribution was poor and there was a distinct lack of vocal dominance that was so important during the golden era under Guardiola.
Jose Pinto could get his chance very soon, while the calls for a big goalkeeper transfer only get stronger.
The Away Kit Is One of the Worst Ever
Whether you love it or hate it, you're certainly talking about it.
While the most passionate of Barca fans will defend the shirt, let's be honest, it's a monstrosity.
The kit designers seriously need to answer some questions because this year's design is one of the very worst I've ever seen.
Call it larva, flames, passion or boldness, you need to turn the contrast down on the television set whenever Barca step out for an away game from now on.
Villa Will Be Used Sparingly
Cristian Tello looks like the man who Vilanova is putting his faith in.
He has started both La Liga games to date and has not let anyone down with two assured displays.
Of course some of his final decisions can be frustrating, but he's learning his trade at one of the biggest clubs in the world. The exuberance of youth must be celebrated, not criticized.
However, Tello's form may not be good news for David Villa.
Many thought he might slot straight back into the side, but it looks like the 30-year-old will have to be patient and wait his turn.
The season is very young and Villa will get his chance to shine sooner rather than later, but his selection is far from certain anymore.
It's Not Going to Be Easy
Lionel Messi was again the savior as Barca battled back to claim an invaluable three points, but the warning signs were plentiful.
While Madrid will obviously be the main contenders again, their draw with Valencia last week combined with the close shave Barca had in Osasuna shows the title may be not be decided in the head to head meetings.
Of course they will be important, but La Liga continues to get stronger, which means plenty more of banana skins along the way.
How the big boys deal with the so called "minnows" could well determine where the La Liga title ends this season.
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