Barca Salvage Point In Crazy Game Against Villareal
Top of the table Barcelona payed a visit to Villareal who are currently fighting relegation. Based on the position of each team in the league table, it would appear to have been a routine win for the Barca, but the midweek clash was anything but. Villareal’s players gave their everything to make this match difficult for Barca and they succeeded with flying colors.
Both the Blaugranas and the Yellow Submarines came out of the gate firing on all pistons, but it was Barca who took advantage of numerous opportunities. A gorgeous through ball from Sergi Roberto in the 12’ minute allowed Malcom to run into open space and eventually set up Coutinho for the easy tap in. Moments later Arturo Vidal sent a perfect cross into the box where Malcolm calmly headed the ball into the far corner past goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo. Even though Barca got off to a fast start, Villareal showed their resilience as Samuel Chukwueze beat Marc-Andre Ter Stegen after initially hitting the post and securing the rebound, eventually slotting the ball into the net. The home team pushed for an equalizer and got it when Karl Toko Ekambi cleverly fired a shot behind Ter Stegen who was anticipating a cross into the box.
The Yellow Subs didn’t stop there. In the second half, Vicente Iborra beat the German goalkeeper with a clever finish. Villareal’s three unanswered goals turned into four as substitute Carlos Bacca sent the home team up 4-2. The Colombian somehow ended up one-on-one with Ter Stegen, and scored after he dribbled around the Barca stopper and finished with ease with less than twenty minutes to play. This seemed to put the game to bed as Barca’s defence looked completely helpless and attack was nowhere to be found. Lionel Messi, however, didn’t give up hope. The La Liga leading scorer came off the bench and entered the game with half-hour to play in regulation, livening up Barca’s attack. As the clock reached 90’ minutes, Barca was awarded a free-kick at the edge of the box. Yet again, Lionel Messi stepped up and blasted the ball gloriously toward the same side of the goal as Asenjo, pinging it off the upper-left post and into the net to get the defending champions within one goal of Villareal. Another miracle goal followed in the 90’+3 minute when Villareal poorly cleared a Barca corner, setting up Luis Suarez for a first time volley, which the Uruguayan fired into the bottom right corner. Every Barca player on the field gleamed with joy as they ran to El Pistolero to celebrate the miraculous comeback. The crazy game ended in a 4-4 draw, and even though Barca only came out with one point, the result almost felt like a win as the defending champs displayed their resilience and championship material by coming back from a 4-2 deficit in the 90’ minute.
Although barca did not secure a victory, they earned a massive point in the race for the La Liga title and are currently eight points ahead of second place Atletico Madrid. The stage is set for an ultimate showdown this Saturday as Barca take on Atletico Madrid at the Nou Camp. Atletico de Madrid hope to claim three points against the Blaugrana, keeping their title hopes alive while Barcelona aim to go up 11 points in the table, almost certainly ending the race for the La Liga crown.