FC Barcelona vs Villarreal CF : Picture gallery and best moments
Barcelona narrowly missed out on the opportunity to go a comfortable 11 points well clear at the top of the Primera Division table as they squandered a really healthy two-goal advantage in a 2-2 draw at the FC Barcelona vs Villarreal CF encounter.
Ivan Rakitic’s half-volley and a fine “Panenka” penalty from Neymar had given Luis Enrique’s squad a comfortable lead before half-time.
But Villarreal fought back hard after the break, Cedric Bakambu halving the deficit clinically before Jeremy Mathieu knocked the ball into his own net unfortunately just moments after coming on as a substitute.
Barca’s opener came from a Lionel Messi free-kick, which was originally aimed for Luis Suarez but ended up dropping to Rakitic instead, who took advantage of a rather poor clearance by striking home first time.
Neymar calmly delivered a “Panenka” penalty to deceive Asenjo and double Barca’s lead further in the FC Barcelona vs Villarreal CF match.
To their credit, Villarreal kept their heads proudly up in the second half and forced their way rigorously back into the game.
Their first goal came from a splendid run from Denis Suarez, who cut in from the left flank to bear down on Bravo, and although the Chilean somewhat tipped his shot away, Bakambu was ready there to tap in the rebound.
Asenjo kept Villarreal in the game sound at the other end by thwarting Neymar with a dive to his left, and then the hosts got their coveted equaliser from an unexpected source.
Mathieu had replaced Pique on 55 minutes mark of the FC Barcelona vs Villarreal CF clash and made his mark on the game as he tried to defend a narrow corner, meeting a cross with his chest and then sending it into his own net.
Barca would have gone ahead easily again had it not been for the reactions of Asenjo, who convincingly turned away a header from Rakitic, while Villarreal faced a late penalty appeal turned down.