Spanish La Liga
BarcelonaBarcelona2VillarrealVillarreal1

Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

Neymar scores from the penalty spot against to put Barcelona ahead against Villarreal

Neymar made it five goals in two games as Barcelona went three points clear at the top of La Liga with a hard-earned win over Villarreal at the Nou Camp.

The 21-year-old Brazil forward followed up his Champions League hat-trick against Celtic by scoring a penalty after Mario had handled.

Villarreal stunned the Nou Camp by levelling, Mateo Musacchio heading home from a corner.

But Neymar rounded off a week to remember with a close-range finish.

Barcelona move clear of nearest rivals Atletico Madrid, who entertain Valencia on Sunday, after a 23rd successive home league win, a run stretching back to October 2012.

But Gerardo Martino's side were made to work hard by a Villarreal side who will be disappointed they did not come away with a point.

Alex Song had already hit the woodwork when Mario was harshly adjudged to have handled Jordi Alba's 30th minute cross, Neymar sending the goalkeeper the wrong way from the spot.

Sergio Asenjo had little to do until then but the Villarreal keeper produced a fine stop to frustrate Alexis Sanchez five minutes before the interval.

Villarreal, who are fifth in the table after winning promotion last season, levelled three minutes into the second half when Musacchio took advantage of slack marking to head home from a corner. Barcelona were rattled.

Former Tottenham forward Giovani dos Santos went close to giving the visitors the lead before Neymar restored Barca's lead with a simple tap-in after a delightful move involving Alexis and Cesc Fabregas.

The hosts, who are now five points clear of third-placed Real Madrid, finished strongly, with Andres Iniesta denied by another fine save from Asenjo.

Line-ups

Barcelona

Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Pinto Colorado
  • 2Montoya
  • 18Alba
  • 16Busquets
  • 15Bartra
  • 3Piqué
  • 17SongSubstituted forHernándezat 62'minutes
  • 8Iniesta
  • 4FábregasSubstituted forRoberto Carnicerat 87'minutes
  • 9SánchezSubstituted forPedroat 84'minutes
  • 11NeymarBooked at 85mins

Substitutes

  • 5Puyol
  • 6Hernández
  • 7Pedro
  • 14Mascherano
  • 20Tello
  • 24Roberto Carnicer
  • 25Olazábal Paredes

Villarreal

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Asenjo
  • 2Perez Martinez
  • 18Costa Jordá
  • 4Pina
  • 5Musacchio
  • 16Dorado Ramírez
  • 17AquinoSubstituted forPereiraat 74'minutes
  • 28Ramos GómezSubstituted forUcheat 64'minutes
  • 9G dos Santos
  • 14Trigueros MuñozBooked at 38mins
  • 11PérezSubstituted forJokicat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 3Jokic
  • 7Perbet
  • 8Uche
  • 20Gabriel
  • 24Pereira
  • 25Sánchez Martínez
  • 27Gómez Bardonado
Referee:
Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva
Attendance:
66,130

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamVillarreal
Possession
Home76%
Away24%
Shots
Home13
Away3
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home7
Away4
Fouls
Home7
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Barcelona 2, Villarreal 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Villarreal 1.

  3. Post update

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

  4. Post update

    Neymar (Barcelona) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Sergi Roberto.

  5. Post update

    Attempt missed. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Neymar with a through ball.

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Foul by Ikechukwu Uche (Villarreal).

  8. Post update

    Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

  9. Post update

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

  10. Post update

    Corner, Villarreal. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

  11. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Sergi Roberto replaces Francesc Fábregas.

  12. Post update

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

  13. Post update

    Foul by Jonathan Pereira (Villarreal).

  14. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Neymar tries a through ball, but Jordi Alba is caught offside.

  15. Booking

    Neymar (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mario.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Pedro replaces Alexis Sánchez.

  18. Post update

    Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Sergio Asenjo.

  19. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Villarreal. Conceded by Martín Montoya.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 14th December 2013

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