Spanish La Liga

Villarreal 2-2 Barcelona

By Jonathan JurejkoBBC Sport
Barcelona held at Villarreal
Lionel Messi trudges off as the Villarreal players celebrate after Jeremy Mathieu scored Barcelona's first own goal of the season

Barcelona stretched their La Liga lead to nine points, despite throwing away a two-goal advantage at Villarreal.

Barca moved ahead when Ivan Rakitic fired a low shot past several home defenders, pouncing on a loose ball after Lionel Messi's free-kick.

Neymar calmly converted a controversial penalty after he was adjudged to be fouled by home keeper Sergio Asenjo.

But fourth-placed Villarreal fought back through Cedric Bakambu's neat finish and Jeremy Mathieu's own goal.

Relive all the drama from El Madrigal

Barca, who saw nearest rivals Atletico Madrid suffer a shock loss at Sporting Gijon on Saturday, had to settle for a point as they extended their Spanish record unbeaten run to 39 matches in all competitions.

The Catalan side are 10 points ahead of third-placed Real Madrid, who thrashed Sevilla 4-0 later on Sunday.

Barcelona held at Villarreal

Villarreal look unlikely to pip Madrid to an automatic Champions League place, but are well equipped to reach the competition's qualifying round after a deserved point against the reigning champions.

They are 12 points adrift of Zinedine Zidane's side, but have a six-point cushion over fifth-placed Celta Vigo.

Both home goals came after Barca boss Luis Enrique reshuffled his defence with the introduction of Mathieu, who replaced the booked Gerard Pique, and right-back Dani Alves.

The visitors appeared vulnerable to further punishment, but regained their composure to see out the final half hour.

However, there were few chances for either side to nick an action-packed game, which saw referee Jose Sanchez infuriate the home crowd with a series of bizarre decisions.

Barcelona held at Villarreal
Villarreal thought keeper Sergio Asenjo, who only returned from an 11-month injury lay-off on Thursday, won the ball when Neymar was awarded a penalty

'Positive result for Barca'

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique:

"The best teams in the league have lost here, we've drawn. We were close to winning, but also could have lost.

"It is a positive round of fixtures for us. One less to go and one point closer to our objectives.

"It is a positive result for us."



Formation 4-4-2

  • 1AsenjoBooked at 40mins
  • 2Pérez MartínezBooked at 84mins
  • 24Bailly
  • 6RuizBooked at 41mins
  • 22RukavinaBooked at 43mins
  • 18D SuárezSubstituted forPinaat 74'minutesBooked at 78mins
  • 14Trigueros MuñozBooked at 85mins
  • 21BrunoBooked at 24mins
  • 19Castillejo Azuaga
  • 9SoldadoBooked at 20minsSubstituted forCarrilho Baptistaoat 83'minutes
  • 17BakambuSubstituted forLópez Álvarezat 71'minutes


  • 4Pina
  • 10Carrilho Baptistao
  • 20López Álvarez
  • 23Bonera
  • 25Barbosa
  • 27Marín Gómez
  • 28Pedraza Sag


Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Bravo
  • 20Roberto Carnicer
  • 3PiquéBooked at 16minsSubstituted forMathieuat 55'minutes
  • 14MascheranoBooked at 90mins
  • 18AlbaBooked at 53mins
  • 4Rakitic
  • 5Busquets
  • 7TuranBooked at 13minsSubstituted forAlves da Silvaat 57'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez
  • 11Neymar


  • 1ter Stegen
  • 6Alves da Silva
  • 15Bartra
  • 17El Haddadi
  • 21Correia
  • 22Vidal Parreu
  • 24Mathieu
José María Sánchez Martínez

Match Stats

Home TeamVillarrealAway TeamBarcelona
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Villarreal 2, Barcelona 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Villarreal 2, Barcelona 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Manu Trigueros (Villarreal) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top right corner following a set piece situation.

  4. Booking

    Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  5. Post update

    Hand ball by Javier Mascherano (Barcelona).

  6. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Bruno (Villarreal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  7. Post update

    Attempt missed. Jeremy Mathieu (Barcelona) with an attempt from very close range misses to the left. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a cross following a set piece situation.

  8. Post update

    Neymar (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Eric Bailly (Villarreal).

  10. Post update

    Offside, Barcelona. Luis Suárez tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Luis Suárez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Javier Mascherano with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Hand ball by Samu Castillejo (Villarreal).

  13. Post update

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

  14. Post update

    Foul by Eric Bailly (Villarreal).

  15. Post update

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

  16. Post update

    Foul by Víctor Ruiz (Villarreal).

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner.

  18. Booking

    Manu Trigueros (Villarreal) is shown the yellow card for hand ball.

  19. Post update

    Hand ball by Manu Trigueros (Villarreal).

  20. Booking

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

As It Stood

2Atl Madrid30214546143267
3Real Madrid30206487285966
5Celta Vigo30146104351-848
7Ath Bilbao30145114839947
10Dep La Coruña3071583943-436
11Real Sociedad3098133741-435
13Real Betis30810122740-1334
15Las Palmas3096153242-1033
16Rayo Vallecano30610144163-2228
19Sporting Gijón3076173252-2027
View full Spanish La Liga table

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