Barcelona survived a very tough Villarreal to win another game in La Liga and extend the team's unbeaten streak to seven in all competitions thanks to a hard-fought 3-0 victory with goals from Neymar and Luis Suárez. It was as difficult of a game as expected before, but the Blaugranes showed composure when it mattered and found the goals to secure three more points.
The initial 45 minutes were as difficult as expected: Villarreal lineup in a tight, very compact formation designed to press high at times and mostly sustain pressure when pinned to its own half. Thanks to a very uninspired half from most of Barça's stars, especially Neymar, the Yellows were successful on defense and had some very dangerous ventures into the opposing box.
Barça's defense was also up to the task, with Claudio Bravo making a huge save at the end of the half after a good play by Castillejo, Villarreal's best offensive player of the first 45. The Blaugrana had one real chance with an unlikely source, as Jérémy Mathieu all of a sudden appeared in front of keeper Areola, who made a great save on a strong shot by the French center-back.
In the end, a hard-fought, nervous half with no score.
The start of the second period was better from the Blaugranes, who got the reward for a more intense and direct performance. Sergio Busquets gave a sensational assist to Neymar, and the Brazilian was calm, cool and collected to finish with his left foot and score the opener. Things got better when Munir won a penalty that was perfectly converted by Luis Suárez. Two-nothing Barça, and the should be easier then.
It was, and the best was saved for last. The game-ending counter-attack came with one of the most spectacular goals you'll ever see from Neymar Jr. It's impossible to describe, but it deserves a frame. Incredible.
Barcelona: Bravo; Alves, Piqué (Bartra), Mathieu, Alba; Busquets, Roberto, Iniesta; Munir (Sandro), Suárez, Neymar
Goal: Neymar (60', 85'), Suárez (70')
Villarreal: Areola; Mario, Bonera, Ruiz, Costa; Bruno, Pina (Bakambu); Denis, J. Dos Santos, Castillejo (Samuel); Soldado