La Liga: Barcelona v Villarreal as it happened

Spanish leaders Barcelona beat fifth-placed Villarreal to return to winning ways in La Liga and open up a three-point gap.

14 December 2013 Last updated at 18:43

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As it happened

  1. 2110: 

    And that my friends is a wrap. But don't fear, we have plenty more European action for your delectation on Sunday. There are two humdinger of games taking place in the Mediterranean as Rafael Benitez's Napoli host Italian rivals Inter Milan in a top-four Serie A clash and second-placed Atletico Madrid entertain Valencia in Spain's La Liga.

    In the meantime, head over to our European football page where you can catch up on all of today's action - including wins for Barcelona and Bayern Munich and draws for Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. Ciao for now!

  2. 2104: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    "Big, big win for Barca tonight. It feels like a significant step in their quest to retain the title. And most importantly, what a great week for Neymar, the new hero of the Nou Camp. The big challenge will be for him to remain a focal point of the attack when Lionel Messi returns to fitness - and for the Argentine to accept that sometimes other people are also allowed to shoot…"

  3. 2101: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal
    Neymar

    It wasn't the most fluent of Barcelona performances at times - particularly in the first half. But they have got the job done thanks to the mercurial talents of Brazil star Neymar. The £50m man has bagged five times in the past week and has a rather rosy-looking tally of six goals and eight assists in his 14 La Liga games for the Catalan giants.

  4. 2056:  
    French Ligue 1FULL-TIME

    Rennes 1-3 Paris St-Germain

    Ajaccio 1-2 Lorient

    Evian Thonon Gaillard 1-1 Reims

    Guingamp 0-2 Monaco

    Nantes 1-2 Toulouse

    Nice 1-0 Sochaux

  5. 2054: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    "There was a hint of desperation about the Nou Camp crowd in the final stages - they knew just how important the points were after Real Madrid's slip-up against Osasuna, and the home fans were nervous about the victory rather than assuming it would happen, as they usually tend to. Big collective sigh of relief at the whistle."

  6. 2050: 
    FULL-TIME- Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    And that is it - all over at the Nou Camp. Neymar grins the cheekiest of cheeky grins as he strolls off to the acclaim of the Barcelona faithful. Two goals from the Brazilian sees off Villarreal to move the Spanish champions three points clear of Atletico Madrid.

  7. 2049: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    It is end to end stuff now. Barcelona almost kill off their plucky opponents with Pedro blasting a first-time shot into the side-netting before Neymar fires over after a dazzling run. And listen to this - cries of 'Ney-mar, Ney-mar' are echoing around the vacuous Nou Camp. Lionel who?

  8. 2047: 
    INJURY TIME- Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    Sergio Busquets nearly puts Barcelona in deep trouble with a lazy clearance inside his own area as we enter four minutes of stoppage time.

  9. 2046: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    Nope, not on this occasion. And then they are nearly punished on the counter attack as Barcelona's Martin Montoya bombs down the right. The lad loves getting forward but yet again his final product leaves a lot to be desired as he fails to beat the first Villarreal defender. Neymar was ready and waiting to snaffle a hat-trick. Waste.

  10. 2044: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    Villarreal are not giving up and force a late corner, despite Gerard Pique's protestations that the ball wasn't out. It was. By about a foot. The Yellow Submarine can't nick an equaliser - can they?

  11. 2042: 
    FINAL FIVE- Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    Not really sure what is happening at the Nou Camp where there is a slight delay as Barcelona prepare to take a corner. The referee is not happy with something or other. Two-goal hero Neymar takes the opportunity to have a laugh and a joke with his team's supporters near to the corner flag.

  12. 2040: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    And Barca almost grab that third goal I was talking about. Alexis Sanchez flicks over a delicious chip to Andres Iniesta on edge of the area and the Spain midfielder shows superb technique to volley low towards the bottom corner. It is trundling in before Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, not for the first time, saves his side by pushing the ball out to safety.

  13. 2037: 
    Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    Barcelona, with Xavi dictating play, have a measure of control now as they slow the pace down while easily retaining possession. One more goal for the hosts and it really will be game over.

  14.  

    Infostrada Sports: Neymar is the first Brazilian to score at least six La Liga goals for Barcelona in one season since Ronaldinho (8) in 2007/08.

  15. 2034: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 2-1 Villarreal
    Neymar

    "Great movement from Alexis Sanchez for the goal, followed by excellent awareness and unselfishness to tee up Neymar. Sanchez's improvement has probably been the single biggest plus for Barca this season - the Chilean has already scored as many goals as last season and is finally maturing into the fabulous player he always looked capable of becoming."

  16. 2032: 
    FINAL FIFTEEN- Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal

    It is now or never for Villarreal - and boss Marcelino knows it. The Yellow Submarine coach introduces winger Jonathan Pereira - a player known for his attacking spark - in place of Javier Ignacio Aquino. Fifteen minutes for the visitors to salvage something.

  17. 2029:  
    French Ligue 1LATEST SCORES- Guingamp 0-2 Monaco

    Claudio Ranieri's Monaco are closing in on a fine win against 10-man Guingamp that will move them to within two points of leaders Paris St-Germain.

    Elsewhere in France, Toulouse lead 1-0 away to Nantes and Nice are 1-0 up against Sochaux. It is 1-1 between Ajaccio and Lorient and goalless between Evian and Reims.

  18. 2028: 
    LATEST SCORES

    Ajaccio 1-1 Lorient

    Evian Thonon Gaillard 0-0 Reims

    Guingamp 0-2 Monaco

    Nantes 0-1 Toulouse

    Nice 1-0 Sochaux

  19. 2024: 
    GOAL- Barcelona 2-1 Villarreal - Neymar (68 mins)

    Beautiful, simply beautiful. It is a work of art from Barcelona as Samba superstar Neymar puts the Spanish leaders ahead with an easy tap-in. Cesc Fabregas floats a delightful angled pass to the far post where Alexis Sanchez is waiting to deftly control with his chest and prod into the path of the Brazilian. That's five goals in four days for the lad.

  20. 2022: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 1-1 Villarreal

    "We've just seen a major Barca debate in microcosm: Xavi coming on. He has run the midfield for more than a decade but is nearly 34 and looking much less effective this season. But Barca don't know how to replace him, and therefore have to continually turn to him even when they want to rest him and explore other options."

  21.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Andrew Priestley: Atletico Madrid will be licking their lips this evening, Real Madrid dropped two points earlier and now Barca are struggling.

  22. 2019: 
    SUBSTITUTION- Barcelona 1-1 Villarreal

    Here's the expected change as Barca midfield general Xavi trots on in place of Alex Song. Within moments of Xavi's arrival, Cesc Fabregas sees sight of the Villarreal goal after springing the offside trap. But the Spain star denied by the sprawling figure of on-rushing away goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo. Top save.

  23. 2017: 
    Barcelona 1-1 Villarreal

    A couple of half chances quickly come and go for the home side. Right-back Martin Montoya again bursts into the penalty area but again fails to pick out a red and blue shirt. Moments later, Villarreal goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo convincingly punches clear a Jordi Alba cross as the away team survive.

  24. 2014: 
    Barcelona 1-1 Villarreal

    The television camera pans to the Nou Camp touchline where Xavi is limbering up his ageing limbs. The Barcelona pass master could be introduced soon as his uninspired team-mates labour against the visitors. Pedro and Cristian Tello look like appetising attacking options on the home bench too.

  25. 2010: 
    Barcelona 1-1 Villarreal

    Another Villarreal corner - and we all know what happened from their last set-piece. It is swung in from the other side on this occasion and a Barcelona head manages to flick the ball clear.

  26. 2009: 
    CLOSE!- Barcelona 1-1 Villarreal

    Villarreal are feeling rather confident now - and why on Earth not. That goal has given them fresh impetus as Giovani dos Santos - a former Barcelona trainee let's not forget - jinks into space before arrowing a low left-foot shot inches past the home post.

  27. 2007: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 1-1 Villarreal

    "Ask any Barca fan how they would most expect to concede a goal, and they would answer: 'A header from a corner.' It's been their biggest defensive problem all season, with new manager Tata Martino changing from zonal to man marking in an attempt to improve things. But he has also conceded: 'We don't have many tall players.' Which sounds a bit like giving up."

  28. 2004: 
    GOAL- Barcelona 1-1 Villarreal - Mateo Musacchio (48 mins)

    A dream start to the second half for Villarreal! They could not muster a single effort on the Barcelona goal before the break, but it takes them less than three minutes to peg back their hosts. Stand-in skipper Mateo Musacchio outmuscles Barca marker Marc Bartra to thump in a firm header which flies past home goalkeeper Jose Pinto.

  29. 2002: 
    KICK-OFF- Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    The players re-emerge from the tunnel at a sparsely-populated, and rather quiet, Nou Camp. Giovani Dos Santos nudges the ball forward and that means we are off.

  30. 1956: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    So as things stand, Barcelona are going three points clear at the top of La Liga. Third-placed Real Madrid lost further ground remember, despite fighting back from 2-0 down with 10 men to rescue a point in a thrilling 2-2 draw at lowly Osasuna.

  31. 1952: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    "Barca players and fans were unhappy that referee Ignacio Iglesias allowed precisely zero seconds stoppage time at the end of the first half - I guess they expected an extra minute following the penalty award. Not sure whether that's something refs should give additional time for?"

  32. 1951:  
    French Ligue 1Guingamp 0-2 Monaco
    Guingamp v Monaco

    It is all going right for former Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri. Having seen his Monaco title challengers take an early lead through Anthony Martial, Guingamp have been reduced to 10 men following the first half dismissal of Jonathan Martins Pereira.

    Monaco take advantage of the extra man three minutes before the interval as defender Layvin Kurzawa doubles the lead. Surely Guingamp can't come back from this. Can they?

  33. 1949:  
    French Ligue 1HALF-TIME

    Ajaccio 1-1 Lorient

    Evian Thonon Gaillard 0-0 Reims

    Guingamp 0-2 Monaco

    Nantes 0-0 Toulouse

    Nice 1-0 Sochaux

  34. 1946: 
    HALF-TIME- Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    And right on cue, official Ignacio Iglesias blows his whistle for the break. Things were going smoothly for Villarreal and their counter attacking tactics until the penalty that led to Neymar's opener for Barcelona. The visitors are going to have to open up more after the break - which could leave them exposed at the back. More goals? You betcha.

  35. 1945: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    "Villarreal need the half-time whistle here. Barca's attacking momentum had been growing even before the penalty and the second is just looking like a matter of time. You can feel it coming (in the air tonight?)."

  36. 1943: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    Villarreal right-back Mario looks to atone for conceding the penalty which led to Barcelona's opener as he raids down the right flank in another visiting counter. But his teasing cross is too inviting for Barca keeper Jose Pinto who leaps into the Catalonia night sky to gather.

  37. 1941: 
    GREAT SAVE!- Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    Almost a second for Barcelona. Alexis Sanchez wriggles into an inch of space inside the Villarreal six-yard box and looks certain to score. But...no! He is denied by a fantastic reaction save from away stopper Sergio Asenjo. That could be a very important stop...

  38. 1938: 
    Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal
    Neymar

    Just days after Barca coach Tata Martino said he wanted £50m man Neymar to score more goals, the Brazilian has duly obliged. He has bagged four times since Martino's comments after adding that penalty to the hat-trick he scored against Celtic on Wednesday.

  39. 1934: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 1-0 Villarreal

    "The penalty might have looked like a harsh decision to British eyes as the ball crashed into Mario's arm from point-blank range, but those 'handballs' are nearly always penalised in Spain. In fact, he was lucky not to get booked."

  40.  

    OptaJose: Barcelona have scored in their last 41 home league games; a La Liga record. Infallible.

  41.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Thomas McIlroy: Great to see Villarreal back in Barcelona - the match against Barca B was crucial to our promotion last year. We we took over 10,000 fans! But although we're playing well, hard to see us getting a result today without Cani/Bruno.

  42. 1929: 
    GOAL- Barcelona 1-0 Villarreal - Neymar (30 mins)

    Poor Mario could not really do much more to try and get out of the way of Jordi Alba's cross before it struck his hand just inside the Villarreal penalty area. But there is no sympathy from Neymar, who struts and stutters up to the ball before calmly stroking it into the bottom left corner. Advantage Barcelona.

  43. 1928: 
    PENALTY TO BARCELONA- Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    Moments after Cesc Fabregas was denied a penalty, the referee points to the Villarreal spot after a handball from Mario. Harsh...

  44. 1926: 
    PENALTY APPEAL- Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    Cesc Fabregas goes tumbling in the Villarreal box before looking up at the referee in a pleading manner. A quick shake of the head from official Ignacio Iglesias tells you everything you need to know. No penalty.

  45. 1923: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal
    Barcelona v Villarreal

    As per, Barcelona are dominating possession as Villarreal look content to sit back with 10 men behind the ball. The Catalans are being patient as they push and probe for an opening. Finally they get one and right-back Martin Montoya thinks he is clear - only to be hauled back by the linesman's raised flag. Offside.

  46. 1919:  
    French Ligue 1Guingamp 0-1 Monaco

    Teenage striker Anthony Martial puts second-placed Monaco ahead in their crucial match at Guingamp. The 18-year-old has now scored two goals and delivered one assist in his last four league games.

    After leaders Paris St-Germain won 3-1 at Rennes earlier, Monaco will move back to within two points of the summit with a win.

  47. 1917: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    Here's our first glimpse of Villarreal's attacking threat. Giovani dos Santos - him of Tottenham and Ipswich fame - stretches his legs down the left as Villarreal break out on the counter. Barca right-back Martin Montoya is nowhere to be seen as Dos Santos glides into acres of space, only to put his cross just behind team-mate Manuel Trigueros.

  48. 1915: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou CampBarcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    "Unlucky for Alex Song. That shot against the post looked like it had to go in. Interesting to see him in the 'Xavi' role today - most of his appearances have been in a more defensive role deputising for Sergio Busquets. He's started well in the more advanced position, although it's doubtful he'll come close to the 100+ touches of the ball that Xavi routinely manages."

  49. 1913: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    Another slick move by Barcelona, this time down the left, almost pays dividends. Jordi Alba skips and weaves his way into the Villarreal area before flashing a centre across goal. But he cannot pick out team-mate Neymar - a hat-trick hero against Celtic in midweek - as Villarreal scramble clear.

  50. 1911: 
    HOW'S STAT?!- Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    OptaJose: Barca won 5-0 in their last home league meeting with Villarreal - their biggest ever victory against the side from Castellon. Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas both scored their first La Liga goal in this victory.

  51. 1909:  
    German BundesligaFULL-TIME

    Augsburg 4-1 Braunschweig

    Bayern Munich 3-1 Hamburg

    Hannover 3-3 Nurnberg

    Hoffenheim 2-2 Borussia Dortmund

    Mainz 0-0 Borussia Monchengladbach

  52. 1906: 
    HITS THE WOODWORK- Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    Former Arsenal powerhouse Alex Song is not widely known for his goalscoring feats - but the Cameroon star is just a lick of paint away from breaking the deadlock for Barcelona. He calmly takes down a corner on a his chest before thumping a stinging drive against Villarreal's left-hand post.

  53. 1903: 
    Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    Barcelona are still without some geezer called Lionel Messi, who of course is still recovering from a hamstring injury. But the Catalan giants are not missing him in the early stages as they quickly find their rhythm. Martin Montoya and Alexis Sanchez link up neatly down the left but the former is unable to swing a cross into the Villarreal mixer.

  54. 1900: 
    KICK-OFF- Barcelona 0-0 Villarreal

    The referee gives his shiny whistle an almighty toot and that means we are under way in Spain.

  55.  
    GET INVOLVED

    We always need a little help from our friends during these lonely Saturday nights. So why don't you get involved? Tweet using #bbceurofooty or text on 81111. Lovely stuff.

  56. 1856: 

    Reckon Barcelona are going to cruise to a comfortable win against newly-promoted Villarreal? Think again. The Yellow Submarine (my least favourite Beatles song but most loved football nickname) are rising once again. After spending a season out of the Spanish top-flight, they are back among the big boys. And Marcelino's men are bruising a few egos as they enjoy a promising start to the season. They are fifth after taking 28 points from their opening 15 matches - they couldn't sneak into the top four and claim a Champions League place could they?

  57. 1854: 
    European football writer Andy West at the Nou Camp

    "Neymar is back on the left wing for Barca despite his brilliant midweek hat-trick against Celtic, when he operated through the middle. Cesc Fabregas will play there today, with Alex Song replacing Xavi in midfield. Jordi Alba is back from injury for his first league outing since September.

    "Villarreal are missing two key players in midfield - Cani and Bruno Soriano, who have both started every previous game and have arguably been their best players this season. Former Barca striker Gio Dos Santos has also done very well, and he starts in attack."

  58. 1851: 
    LINE-UPS

    Barcelona: Pinto, Pique, Bartra, Montoya, Jordi Alba, Fabregas, Iniesta, Song, Busquets, Sanchez, Neymar. Subs: Puyol, Xavi, Pedro, Mascherano, Tello, Sergi Roberto, Oier.

    Villarreal: Sergio Asenjo, Musacchio, Dorado, Mario, Jaume Costa, Perez, Aquino, Edu Ramos, Pina, Trigueros, Dos Santos. Subs: Jokic, Perbet, Uche, Paulista, Pereira, Juan Carlos, Moises.

  59. 1848: 

    Hola amigos! Welcome to live text commentary of Barcelona v Villarreal at the (soon-to-be rebuilt?) Nou Camp. It is first v fifth as Barcelona look to take advantage of arch rivals Real Madrid dropping more points earlier today. The Catalan giants can move three points clear of second-placed Atletico Madrid, who entertain Valencia on Sunday, and stretch the gap over Real to a healthy five points.

  60. 1845: 

    Nothing bites back like a wounded animal. Bloodied. Snarling. Desperate for revenge. Tonight that beast is Barcelona.

    It is not often that the Spanish champions are left hurt, shocked and cowering in the dirt. OK, that may be little dramatic. But they are still reeling from their first La Liga defeat of the season at the hands of Athletic Bilbao.

    Sure, they have since plundered 10 goals in comprehensive cup wins against Cartegena and Celtic. But tonight it is back to the serious business of defending their La Liga title.

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League Table

Spanish La Liga summary table; it charts each team by position, team name, games played, total goal difference and points
Position Team Played Goal Difference Points
No movement 1 Atlético Madrid 33 50 82
No movement 2 Real Madrid 33 62 79
No movement 3 Barcelona 33 65 78
No movement 4 Athletic Bilbao 33 23 62
No movement 5 Sevilla 33 14 56
No movement 6 Villarreal 33 14 52
No movement 7 Real Sociedad 33 6 51
No movement 8 Valencia CF 33 0 44
No movement 9 Espanyol 33 -5 41
No movement 10 Levante 33 -11 40
No movement 11 Málaga 33 -8 38
No movement 12 Rayo Vallecano 33 -31 37
No movement 13 Granada CF 33 -16 37
No movement 14 Celta de Vigo 33 -13 37
No movement 15 Elche 33 -17 35
No movement 16 Osasuna 33 -25 34
No movement 17 Real Valladolid 33 -18 32
No movement 18 Getafe 33 -22 31
No movement 19 Almería 33 -30 30
No movement 20 Real Betis 33 -38 22

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