FC Barcelona kept pace with Real Madrid in their pursuit of the league title, by defeating Villarreal 4-1 at the Camp Nou. Neymar opened the scoring in the 20th minute by poking in the ball from close range. However, Villarreal would equalize eleven minutes later through Cedric Bakambu.
The Blaugrana retook the lead right before halftime through Messi whose deflected shot from distance snuck past the Villarreal keeper. That goal meant that Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar surpassed 100 combined goals in all competitions for the season. Furthermore, that was Messi’s 50th goal in all competitions, which is the fifth time the legend has reached that milestone.
In the second half, Luis Suarez scored Barça’s third goal of the match in the 68th minute before Messi scored the team’s fourth and final goal in the 81st minute from the spot with a well taken “Panenka”penalty. Next up for Barça is a trip to Las Palmas as they keep pace with Real Madrid, who won 4-0 against Granada later on.
Match Stats (From Sport):
FC BARCELONA: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto (Mascherano, 78′), Piqué, Umtiti, Digne (Jordi Alba, 74′), Busquets, Rakitic (André Gomes, 83′), Iniesta, Messi, Luis Suárez & Neymar.
VILARREAL: Andrés Fernández, Mario, Musacchio, Álvaro, Jaume Costa, Rodrigo, Jonathan dos Santos, Trigueros, Soriano (Samu Castillejo, 72′), Bakambu (Adrián, 83′) & Soldado (Sansone, 72′)
Goals: 1-0, Neymar (20′); 1-1, Bakambu (31′); 2-1, Messi (45′); 3-1, Luis Suárez (68′); 4-1, Messi, (81′ – penalty)
Referee: Sánchez Martínez
Cautions: Sergi Roberto (15′), Iniesta (63′) / Álvaro (18′), Soldado (71′), Musacchio (77′), Jaume Costa (80′)