• Analysis

Barcelona dramatically rescues a valuable point at Villarreal 

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A heart-stopping match at Villarreal in which FC Barcelona seemed to lose three points and rescued two thanks to Leo Messi and Luis Suarez.

FC Barcelona had a very complicated visit to Villarreal this Tuesday in La Liga activity, the Catalan club needed to not lose at the Ceramica Stadium before getting a crucial visit from Atletico Madrid next weekend.

Every single time that the ‘Yellow Submarine’ gets a visit from the Catalan club, we all get a memorable match and tonight wasn’t the exception.

Manager Ernesto Valverde had a clear plan of leaving Lionel Messi on the bench for the start of this game, his initial plans seemed to pay off as the Catalan club scored the first two goals of the game through their Brazilian duo composed by Malcom and Philippe Coutinho.

The first goal came from a beautiful combination between both players, with the former Liverpool midfielder finishing after an assist from his compatriot in a counter-attack before the 15-minute mark.

Just a few minutes later, FC Barcelona appeared to get an even more positive result after Arturo Vidal set up Malcom for a perfect header and gave the Catalan club their momentary 2-0 victory that left Villarreal completely stunned.

But the ‘Yellow Submarine’ had their whole crowd to support them in a very difficult moment, this brought their first goal of the match after the 20-minute mark through Nigerian striker Chukwueze.

The first half ended with this scoreline and with Barcelona leaving many defensive doubts, it was clear that this squad is very different when they don’t have Lionel Messi playing on their side.

Already in the second half, the locals got another goal quite early through Toko Ekambi, the winger took a shot with practically no angle and completely fooled Ter Stegen for Villarreal’s 2-2 equalizer.

This was the moment in which Ernesto Valverde decided to send Messi for a warmup, the Argentine got on the pitch with half an hour still left on the clock but things got a lot more difficult for the Catalan club just a minute after the captain got in.

Iborra scored the third goal for Villarreal after a beautiful assist from Manu Morlanes, this gave the crowd a major reason to celebrate and keep pushing their team forward.

Everything seemed completely lost for Barcelona ten minutes before the final whistle, as Santi Cazorla set Carlos Bacca up for Villarreal’s fourth goal of the evening and the Catalan club seemed destined to lose this match.

But the first major mistake from Villarreal came from Alvaro Gonzalez with four minutes left on the clock, he committed a stupid foul on Luis Suarez and left Villarreal with 10 players after getting a second yellow card.

The second grave mistake came on the 90th minute after a foul was committed near the outskirts of the box, Lionel Messi’s preferred area to score his trademark free-kicks.

The Argentine didn’t miss, he bent a beautiful shot to the top corner and Barcelona was already 4-3 in the scoreline.

The final three minutes were very dramatic, Luis Suarez was the player who scored the final equalizer with a long distance shot that gave FC Barcelona a very valuable point just before facing Atletico Madrid next weekend.

This result leaves the Catalan club with 8 points above the Colchoneros, a good enough distance that shouldn’t be a problem for them to live through even if they lose the match at Camp Nour next weekend.

The situation suddenly doesn’t look as dire as it would’ve been if the Blaugrana had lost this match at Villarreal, they are still moving towards the title and they even managed to rest Messi for a full hour before giving him more minutes.

What did you think about this result for Barcelona at Villarreal? Please share your opinion in the comment section down below.