Match ends, Villarreal 1, Barcelona 4.
Villarreal 1-4 Barcelona: Lionel Messi sets up two in fine win
Barcelona kept alive their slim La Liga title hopes with an excellent victory at in-form Villarreal.
They took an early lead when Pau Torres turned in Jordi Alba's cross but Gerard Moreno levelled for Villarreal.
Lionel Messi brilliantly won the ball in midfield before feeding Luis Suarez - who curled in from 20 yards - and the Barca captain then backheeled to Antoine Griezmann, who scored a magnificent chip.
Ansu Fati blasted in a late fourth.
Barca's front three of Messi, Suarez and Griezmann clicked perfectly in one of their best performances in recent months.
Messi has now reached 19 La Liga assists this season, the most of any player since he reached that figure in 2010-11.
He was unlucky not to score as he had a goal ruled out by the video assistant referee for offside and hit the crossbar with a late free-kick.
Barca are four points behind Real Madrid with four games to go and need their old rivals to slip up at least twice to have a hope of retaining their title.
Villarreal had won five games and drawn the other since La Liga restarted following the coronavirus pandemic.
- 4TorresBooked at 17mins
- 19Zambo Anguissa
- 10IborraSubstituted forBrunoat 45'minutes
- 8CazorlaSubstituted forTrigueros Muñozat 56'minutes
- 7MorenoSubstituted forGómez Bardonadoat 45'minutes
- 17AlcácerSubstituted forBaccaat 36'minutesSubstituted forNiñoat 70'minutes
- 14Trigueros Muñoz
- 23Gómez Bardonado
- 1ter Stegen
- 2Nélson SemedoSubstituted forRakiticat 60'minutes
- 3PiquéSubstituted forAraújoat 82'minutes
- 5BusquetsSubstituted forBraithwaiteat 73'minutes
- 9SuárezSubstituted forPuigat 60'minutes
- 17GriezmannSubstituted forFatiat 72'minutes
- 13Murara Neto
- 35Morer Cabrera
- 42Rodríguez Jiménez
- Carlos del Cerro Grande
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Villarreal 1, Barcelona 4.
Offside, Villarreal. Manu Trigueros tries a through ball, but Moi Gómez is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Manu Trigueros (Villarreal) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.
Attempt missed. Samuel Chukwueze (Villarreal) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.
Corner, Villarreal. Conceded by Ronald Araújo.
Attempt missed. Sergi Roberto (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Riqui Puig following a corner.
Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Sergio Asenjo.
Attempt saved. Martin Braithwaite (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) hits the bar with a left footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Raúl Albiol (Villarreal).
Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Sergi Roberto.
Attempt missed. Mario Gaspar (Villarreal) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Manu Trigueros.
Goal! Villarreal 1, Barcelona 4. Ansu Fati (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Jordi Alba.
Riqui Puig (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by André-Frank Zambo Anguissa (Villarreal).
Clément Lenglet (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Fernando Niño (Villarreal).
Foul by Ivan Rakitic (Barcelona).