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Villarreal vs Barcelona, 2016 La Liga: Final Score 2-2 as Barça draw tough road game

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso/Getty Images

Barcelona's streak of wins in La Liga is over after a hard-fought 2-2 draw on the road against Villarreal, with goals from Ivan Rakitic and Neymar Jr., with Cedric Bakambu and Jérémy Mathieu (own goal) scoring for Villarreal. In a difficult game at one of the most hostile environments in Spain, the Blaugrana had a horrific second half and conceded the draw to a Yellow Submarine squad that never gave up and deserved the result.


A great initial 45 minutes was somewhat stained by one of the worst performances we have ever seen from a referee. José Sánchez was horrible in the first half, reversing calls, distributing a ridiculous number of yellow cards, and having an overall terrible afternoon.

Excluding the official, however, we were able to see a great half of football. Both teams attacked and created dangerous chances, with the hosts displaying good organization and smart offensive plays. But Barça had the overall control of the half, and they were rewarded.

In the twentieth minute, a Messi free-kick bounced off a Villarreal defender and fell kindly to Rakitic, who didn't waste the chance and scored the opener. Just before the end of the half, Neymar won a controversial penalty, and did a Panenka to double the Blaugrana lead.

At halftime, terrible refereeing, a good Barça performance, and the lead on the road.


The Yellow Submarine did not give up and went all out in search of goals. They got one quite fast, with Denis Suárez making a great individual run and forcing Claudio Bravo into a save that bounced to Bakambu, who easily finished to bring Villarreal back into the game.

After conceding, the Blaugrana were completely lost at the back, giving away the ball easily and conceding plenty of space to the visitors. Mathieu had a terrible few minutes since he came onto the pitch, and his horrible afternoon was completed when a Villarreal corner-kick hit the Frenchman in the shoulder and bounced into the net for the equalizer.

Barça did improve a little in the final minutes, but they weren't able to find a game-winner, and will leave El Madrigal with the feeling that they threw away a victory that would basically clinch La Liga. At least the streak continues, now at 39 matches without a loss.

Villarreal: Asenjo; Mario, Ruiz, Bailly, Rukavina; Bruno, Trigueros; Castillejo, Denis (Pina); Bakambu (Adrián), Soldado (Léo Baptistão)

Goals: Bakambu (57'), Mathieu (62' O.G.)

Barcelona: Bravo; Roberto, Piqué (Mathieu), Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Arda (Alves); Messi, Suárez, Neymar

Goals: Rakitic (20'), Neymar (41')

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