The Cameroon midfielder, who joined Barcelona from Arsenal during the summer, has acknowledged that Vilanova played a pivotal part in his performance on Sunday.
The 24-year-old told Sport: "The coach spoke with me ahead of the game and explained what he expected of me.
"That really helped me calm down a bit and gave me a lot of confidence. My teammates also talked to me a lot and that was very helpful."
Barcelona's victory over Valencia ensured that they maintained their 100% start to the La Liga season.