Valiant Villarreal Hold Barcelona To Draw
Result: Villarreal 2-2 Barcelona
Date: 20 March 2016
Venue: El Madrigal
A determined Villarreal outfit held Barcelona to a 2-2 draw in their La Liga clash on Sunday evening.
The Catalans were first to create a real chance when the off-the-ball runs of Neymar and Luis Suarez pulled the Villarreal defence apart, giving Ivan Rakitic the opening to shoot, but he couldn't curl his attempt in at the far post.
However, Rakitic redeemed himself a few minutes later as Barca took the lead. Lionel Messi swung in a free kick towards the far post where Suarez was in position to head it down for Rakitic to roll home the finish.
A controversial penalty just before the break saw the Blaugrana double their lead. Messi picked out Neymar's run and the Brazilian went down under the challenge of goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo. The challenge seemed to be fair but the referee pointed to the spot and Neymar slotted it.
The Yellow Submarine responded after the interval to reduce the deficit. Denis Suarez was played through on goal. His shot was parried but only as far as Cedric Bakambu who pounced on the loose ball and netted for the home side.
The sides were level once again when Jeremy Mathieu, who had been on the pitch for less than 10 minutes, put the ball in the back of his own net. A corner kick was flicked on by Bakambu and Mathieu inadvertently deflected it past his own goalkeeper.
Barca were close to restoring their lead as Rakitic headed the ball downwards at goal, but Asenjo pulled off a massive save to keep Villarreal level.