Two goals from French Antoine Griezmann led to Barcelona to victory1-2) at the La Cerámica stadium in front of the Villarreal in a highly contested duel with a good game with which the barcelonistas put pressure on Atlético de Madrid in the fight for the league title, while the people of Castellón see their career slowed by playing in the next Europa League.
The goals of the French striker allowed Barcelona to reach the break already with a 1-2 advantage after tracing the initial goal of Villarreal, from Samu Chukwueze, who opened the scoring in the 26th minute with a bit of beautiful workmanship, although a minute later Griezmann responded with another of great plasticity.
The match began with intensity by both teams, with alternatives in both plots from the field of play and perhaps it was Villarreal who, initially, was in command of the game, although the first great scoring opportunity came for the Barcelona players but Frenkie De Jong’s near point-blank shot met with one of the best saves of the championship by Sergio Asenjo after a great visitor play.
After this action, after the first quarter of an hour, Barcelona was more active in attack with Messi in command of the Barcelona offensive and with Dest and Jordi Alba very active and incisive on the wings.
The match entered a give-and-take phase, with both teams showing great speed in their actions, but it was Villarreal who managed to unbalance the score at 27 minutes a goal from Samu Chukwueze, who dribbled off Ter Stegen to score his fourth goal of the season after a great pass from Pau Torres.
Barcelona’s response could not have been faster, since in the next action Antonie Griezmann achieved a beautifully made goal after an assist from Mingueza that the French attacker stung before the Villarreal goal.
Without either team dominating the situation, Barcelona managed to turn the scoreboard around again with Griezmann as the protagonist after a gift from the Argentine defender Juan Foyth, who practically gave the French striker an assist, who was left alone before the local goalkeeper and precisely defined.
The intensity did not drop until the break, although perhaps in the final stretch it was Barcelona the most incisive team against Villarreal that had to digest the rival’s quick response to their initial goal and the defensive error that led to the visitor’s comeback.
The second part started with the same force that presided over the first half, with Castellón and Barcelona players very involved in the game and in search of the opposite goal.
After the first minutes Barcelona yielded meters to Villarreal, who recovered the ball, while Koeman’s team looked for spaces on the counterattack to surprise the home defense.
With the match tied, Villarreal saw how Manu Trigueros was sent off with a direct red card for a foul on Messi in the dispute of a ball.
The expulsion did not mean that Barcelona immediately took over the crash. Villarreal readjusted and kept the pulse of the game that had dropped in intensity compared to the previous minutes.
In fact, Unai Emery’s team did not stop looking for a tie despite being outnumbered against a Bará who also tried to definitively kill with a third goal that
1 – Villarreal: Asenjo, Foyth, Pau Torres, Albiol (Mario Gaspar, m.89), Alberto Moreno (Estupiñán, m.60), Chukwueze (Yeremi Pino, m.89), Capoue (Moi Gómez, m76), Parejo, Trigueros, Gerard Moreno and Alcácer (Coquelin, m.60)
2 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Mingueza, Piqué, Lenglet, Dest (Sergi Roberto, m.46), Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets (Araujo, m.88), Pedri (Ilaix Moriba, m.64), Jordi Alba, Messi and Griezmann ( Dembele, m.79)
Goals:1-0, m.27: Chukwueze.1-1, m.28: Griezmann. 1-2, m.35: Griezmann.
Referee: Del Cerro Grande (Madrid Committee). He showed a yellow card to the locals Albiol and Pau Torres and to the visitors Griezmann, Busquets and Mingueza. He expelled Manu Trigueros from Villarreal (m.65)
Incidents: Match of day 32 of LaLiga Santander played at the La Cerámica stadium behind closed doors due to health measures due to the covid-19 pandemic. The Villarreal players took to the pitch with a special shirt to celebrate the promotion to the Women’s First Division of the Castellón team achieved this Sunday.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.