By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Vilanova was back on the bench following a brief spell out for surgery after contracting cancer for the second time, and he watched his Barca side stroll to a 4-0 win over derby rivals Espanyol.
It was an easy first day back at work for Vilanova as Xavi opened the scoring early before a brace from Pedro and the customary Lionel Messi strike ensured a four-goal winning margin.
After the match, Vilanova thanked Barcelona for their support.
"I feel very supported and protected by the club," Vilanova said on the club's website.
"I want to thank my staff and the players. This group has had too many close calls and I think it will help us, this situation keeps our feet on the ground because we are no different from anyone else."
Vilanova also thanked the "people of Vall d'Hebron for their excellent treatment" and added that "this is not over [referring to his illness] and even though I have a public job, the illness is mine, it's private."
The Spaniard then took some time to comment specifically on Sunday's 4-0 win over Espanyol.
"We started off really well," he said.
"It's not easy to start like this after a break, but we showed that we're on form."
"Pedro can score. I always say that if he gets time on the pitch he'll end up scoring because he's good with both feet. I think it's good for him that he scored and it's good for the team."
Barcelona's win coupled by Atletico Madrid's 1-1 draw with Real Mallorca on Sunday now sees the Catalans open up an 11 point lead at the top of La Liga.