Spanish La Liga
Barcelona4Villarreal1

Barcelona 4-1 Villarreal

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi is the first player from the top five European leagues (Spain, England, Italy, Germany, France) to reach 50 goals this season in all competitions

Lionel Messi scored his 50th and 51st goals of the season as Barcelona beat Villarreal to temporarily move three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Real Madrid later restored parity with a 4-0 win over Tony Adams' Granada.

Barca went ahead when Neymar finished off a fine team move by scoring from close range after Messi's pass.

Villarreal levelled through Cedric Bakambu, but goals for Messi either side of Luis Suarez's strike from a tight angle sealed Barcelona's win.

It was Messi's low 20-yard strike that put Barca back in front, with the Argentine then chipping a penalty after Jaume Costa's handball for his 35th goal in La Liga this season.

Barcelona are top virtue of a better head-to-head record with Real, who have a game in hand.

Barcelona, aiming to win their third La Liga title in a row, have two more league matches left, while current European champions Real have three.

After Neymar's opener, the hosts surprisingly conceded 11 minutes later when Pique tried to play offside just inside his own half and was caught out by Bakambu's pace, with the striker calmly finishing.

The visitors, fifth in the table and aiming for Europa League qualification, should have gone ahead but former Tottenham striker Roberto Soldado headed wide when unmarked.

That proved crucial as Messi restored Barcelona's lead four minutes later, just before half-time.

In the second half, the hosts went 3-1 ahead when Messi played in Suarez, who jinked past two players before shooting past Andres Fernandez.

Messi's late penalty - the 108th La Liga goal Barcelona have scored this season - came after Costa was adjudged to have handled in his penalty area.

Race for La Liga - remaining fixtures

Barcelona (84 points, played 36)Real Madrid (84 points, played 35)
14 May: Las Palmas (a)14 May: Sevilla (h)
21 May: Eibar (h)17 May: Celta Vigo (a)
21 May: Malaga (a)

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 20SergiBooked at 16minsSubstituted forMascheranoat 78'minutes
  • 3Piqué
  • 23Umtiti
  • 19DigneSubstituted forAlbaat 75'minutes
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forAndré Gomesat 83'minutes
  • 5Busquets
  • 8IniestaBooked at 64mins
  • 10Messi
  • 9L Suárez
  • 11Neymar

Substitutes

  • 6D Suárez
  • 7Turan
  • 13Cillessen
  • 14Mascherano
  • 17Alcácer
  • 18Alba
  • 21André Gomes

Villarreal

  • 13Fernández
  • 2Pérez Martínez
  • 5MusacchioBooked at 77mins
  • 12GonzálezBooked at 19mins
  • 11CostaBooked at 81mins
  • 8dos Santos
  • 14Trigueros Muñoz
  • 16Hernández Cascante
  • 20SorianoSubstituted forCastillejo Azuagaat 72'minutes
  • 17BakambuSubstituted forAdriánat 83'minutes
  • 9SoldadoBooked at 72minsSubstituted forSansoneat 72'minutes

Substitutes

  • 15Adrián
  • 18Sansone
  • 19Castillejo Azuaga
  • 22Rukavina
  • 23Bonera
  • 24Santos Borré
  • 25Barbosa
Referee:
José María Sánchez Martínez
Attendance:
88,268

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamVillarreal
Possession
Home67%
Away33%
Shots
Home20
Away9
Shots on Target
Home8
Away4
Corners
Home4
Away3
Fouls
Home10
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 4, Villarreal 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 4, Villarreal 1.

Attempt blocked. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Samu Castillejo (Villarreal).

Attempt saved. Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Nicola Sansone.

Foul by Luis Suárez (Barcelona).

Jaume Costa (Villarreal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Javier Mascherano.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt saved. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner.

Foul by Neymar (Barcelona).

Rodri (Villarreal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Offside, Villarreal. Jonathan dos Santos tries a through ball, but Nicola Sansone is caught offside.

Offside, Villarreal. Samu Castillejo tries a through ball, but Nicola Sansone is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. André Gomes replaces Ivan Rakitic.

Substitution

Substitution, Villarreal. Adrián López replaces Cédric Bakambu.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 4, Villarreal 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) converts the penalty with a left footed shot to the high centre of the goal.

Booking

Jaume Costa (Villarreal) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

Penalty conceded by Jaume Costa (Villarreal) with a hand ball in the penalty area.

Attempt blocked. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Neymar.

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Javier Mascherano replaces Sergi Roberto.

Booking

Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mateo Musacchio (Villarreal).

Attempt saved. Neymar (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Jordi Alba replaces Lucas Digne.

Corner, Villarreal. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

Attempt blocked. Cédric Bakambu (Villarreal) left footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mateo Musacchio.

Substitution

Substitution, Villarreal. Samu Castillejo replaces Roberto Soriano.

Substitution

Substitution, Villarreal. Nicola Sansone replaces Roberto Soldado.

Booking

Roberto Soldado (Villarreal) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Roberto Soldado (Villarreal).

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 3, Villarreal 1. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergi Roberto following a fast break.

Offside, Villarreal. Manu Trigueros tries a through ball, but Roberto Soriano is caught offside.

Hand ball by Roberto Soldado (Villarreal).

Attempt missed. Jonathan dos Santos (Villarreal) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 6th May 2017

View all Spanish La Liga results

As It Stood

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Barcelona362664108347484
2Real Madrid35266396395784
3Atl Madrid36228666254174
4Sevilla36209763451869
5Villarreal36189953322163
6Ath Bilbao351951151381362
7Real Sociedad36195125549662
8Eibar36159125446854
9Espanyol351311114547-250
10Alavés351212113641-548
11Celta Vigo34135164957-844
12Malaga35119154451-742
13Valencia35117175061-1140
14Las Palmas36109175267-1539
15Real Betis35107183857-1937
16Deportivo La Coruña35711173959-2032
17Leganés3579193053-2330
18Sporting Gijón3669213970-3127
19Granada3648242878-5020
20Osasuna35310223784-4719
View full Spanish La Liga table

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