On paper, there may be nothing to play for at the Camp Nou for the home side, but Barcelona still put on a show for their fans as they thrashed visiting Europa League hopefuls Villarreal.
Javi Calleja’s side performed a guard of honour before kick-off and looked to keep it up for the first 45 minutes too.
Philippe Coutinho opened the scoring on the 11th minute as Sergio Asenjo saved Ousmane Dembele’s effort but could only palm it into the path of the Brazilian.
It was his compatriot Paulinho who added a second as Lucas Digne was played in by Andres Iniesta from deep and he cut across the face of goal to the midfielder at the far post.
Perhaps the most magnificent of all came from Lionel Messi, though that may not come as a surprise, as Andres Iniesta produced a perfectly weighted lofted pass over the heads of the Villarreal back line for Messi to cushion into the back of the net.
After the break, the Yellow Submarine improved, though their consolation goal was fortunate as Pablo Fornals shot deflected in off the side of substitute Nicola Sansone, much to Jasper Cillessen’s frustration on his first league start of the season.
Ousmane Dembele was one of the best performers on the night in arguably his best display yet for the club and in the 87th minute, he got his reward as he found himself in space at the back post to score from Ivan Rakitic’s cross.
He added a fifth in injury time as Barcelona countered and he chipped the onrushing Asenjo to double his tally with his fourth goal for his new club.
Barcelona: Cillessen; Semedo, Pique (Mina, 80), Vermaelen, Digne; Paulinho, Busquets (Rakitic, 65), Iniesta (Luis Suarez, 61); Coutinho, Messi, Dembele.
Villarreal: Asenjo; Mario, Alvaro, Ruiz, Costa; Trigueros (Fuego, 57), Rodri, Castillejo, Fornals, Cheryshev (Sansone, 47); Bacca (Unal, 70).