Barcelona drop points in Villarreal

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Sansone: first scored against Barcelona
Sansone: first scored against Barcelona

All may not be well with Barcelona with the stuttering team dropping points away at Villarreal.

But thanks to Lionel Messi, the club’s talis man.He saved a point for Barcelona with a last minute free-kick.

But this  might not be enough to save their season in La Liga as they fell five points behind Real Madrid having played a game more.

They were lacklustre for long spells in the Estadio de la Ceramica and it was no surprise when Villarreal took the lead on 50 minutes after Lucas Digne gave the ball away high up the pitch.

The home side swept forward and Nicola Sansone applied the finishing touch at the far post from Alexandre Pato’s pass despite Neymar’s sprint back to block the shot.

Then Messi equalised in the dying minutes
Then Messi equalised in the dying minutes

Barcelona woke up after going behind and they should have been awarded a penalty when Bruno stuck out an arm to divert Messi’s shot over the bar. Barça players surrounded the referee but referee Ignacio Iglesias waved away the appeals.

But as the clock ran down Messi delivered with his 30th free-kick goal of his career. There are have been few better placed as the top corner of Sergio Asenjo’s net bulged and the Barcelona players raced back to the centre-circle for the restart.

It was too little too late however and despite a second yellow card and a sending off for Jaume Costa, Villlarreal saw out time to pick up a deserved point.

They came into the game without a win against Barcelona in their last 14 attempts but they had the better of the opening exchanges.

Jonathan Dos Santos volleyed over from Costa’s cross and Roberto Soriano and Alexandre Pato both troubled Barça defence.

Going forward Barça offered very little with Andre Gomes shooting over and Neymar was so slow to a cross from Luis Suarez that Villarreal comfortably cleared.

Neymar was lively but he only has four league goals so far this season – Iago Aspas has 11 to put that into perspective. The Brazilian has not scored since against Manchester City in October.

All is not well with Barcelona. They currently seem more reliant on Messi than ever. With a five point gap to close at the top, the second Clasico of the season being at the Santiago Bernabeu, and Real Madrid having a game in hand it looks as if they may be concentrating on the Champions League this season.

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