Seconds from glory (4-4)

<p >Villarreal drew against LaLiga leader Barça in an exciting game. Beforehand, it would have felt like a good result for the Yellows, but after the game, it feels harsh. Javi Calleja's team were able to turn around a 0-2 score to make it 4-2, before the Culés drew level in the last moments. Blooming added time.</p > <p >The clash had a frenetic rhythm from the referee's first whistle. The Yellow Submarine could have got ahead on the scoreboard twice, but both times Marc André Ter Stegen denied them. First he stopped a great header from Vicente Iborra from a corner, before the German keeper stepped up once again to palm away a Samu Chukwueze shot. The Nigerian went one-on-one with him after stealing the ball.</p > <p >The Yellows failed to make the most of their early chances, but Barcelona did not. Philippe Coutinho made it 0-1 after a Malcom pass (m.11), before the Brazilian himself made it 0-2 minutes later (m.15).</p > <p >Villarreal reacted through Chukwueze. The Submarine's No.30 received a fantastic pass from Santi Cazorla and shot against the woodwork, before getting the rebound and scoring with his second attempt (m.22).</p > <p >Calleja's team used the strikers' pace to generate danger for the Culé backline. In fact, Chukwueze could have drawn the Yellows level with another effort, from a tight angle, which Ter Stegen repelled once more.</p > <p >The start of the second half was a dream. Villarreal drew level thanks to Karl Toko Ekambi. The Yellows No.17 received a long ball from Chukwueze, which stayed on the touchline by centimetres, before getting into the box and when everyone expected a cross for Iborra, he shot to the near post, surprising Ter Stegen. Genius (2-2, m.49).</p > <p >Villarreal were capable of coming back after trailing 0-2 against the league leaders, but wanted more. They had a reward for their bravery when Iborra made it 3-2. The Valencian midfielder received a stratospheric pass from Morlanes and with a subtle touch flicked it past the oncoming Barça keeper. The Estadio de la Cerámica was full of joy. The Submarine used the counter-attack for the rest of the match. That was how they saw the chance to extend their lead. Chukwueze fired against the bar moments after.</p > <p >The goal to make it 4-2 was still to come. Carlos Bacca galloped forward cheered on by the thousands of fans who filled the Estadio de la Cerámica to find himself one-on-one with Ter Stegen. He took it round him and fired into the empty net (4-2, m.79). The noise was immense.</p > <p >Villarreal were left with a player less in the 85th minute. Álvaro González saw a second yellow for a tackle on Luis Suárez, with Calleja moving things around, bringing on Daniele Bonera for Chukwueze.</p > <p >But it wasn't over. Lionel Messi cut the lead with a spectacular free-kick which entered just in the corner of post and bar in the 90th minute (4-3). Barça drew level with the last kick of the game. Suárez fired a great shot from the edge of the area which Sergio Asenjo could do nothing about (4-4). At the end of the match, a draw against the leader which feels harsh after the good Villarreal performance.</p > <p ><strong >Lineups:</strong ></p > <p ><strong >Villarreal CF:</strong > Asenjo; Álvaro, Funes Mori, Víctor Ruiz; Mario, Morlanes (Cáseres, m. 62), Iborra, Cazorla, Pedraza; Chukwueze (Bonera, m. 86), Toko Ekambi (Bacca, m. 72).</p > <p ><strong >FC Barcelona:</strong > Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Umtiti, Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Arturo Vidal, Sergio (Rakitic, m. 72), Arthur (Aleñá, m. 72); Malcom, Luis Suárez, Coutinho (Messi, m. 60).</p > <p ><strong >Goals:</strong > 0-1. Min. 11: Coutinho. 0-2. Min. 15: Malcom. 1-2. Min. 22: Chukwueze. 2-2. Min. 49: Toko Ekambi. 3-2. Min. 61: Iborra. 4-2. Min. 79: Bacca. 4-3. Min. 90: Messi. 4-4. Min. 93: Luis Suárez.</p > <p ><strong >Referee:</strong > Hernández Hernández. <strong >Booked:</strong > Funes Mori (Villarreal); Sergio, Lenglet, Arturo Vidal, Aleñá, Messi, Sergi Roberto (Barcelona). <strong >Sent off:</strong > Álvaro (Villarreal, m. 85).</p > <p ><strong >Matchday information:</strong > LaLiga Matchday 30 at the Estadio de la Cerámica in front of 19,515 spectators.</p >

Villarreal drew against LaLiga leader Barça in an exciting game. Beforehand, it would have felt like a good result for the Yellows, but after the game, it feels harsh. Javi Calleja's team were able to turn around a 0-2 score to make it 4-2, before the Culés drew level in the last moments. Blooming added time.

The clash had a frenetic rhythm from the referee's first whistle. The Yellow Submarine could have got ahead on the scoreboard twice, but both times Marc André Ter Stegen denied them. First he stopped a great header from Vicente Iborra from a corner, before the German keeper stepped up once again to palm away a Samu Chukwueze shot. The Nigerian went one-on-one with him after stealing the ball.

The Yellows failed to make the most of their early chances, but Barcelona did not....

Villarreal draw against the league leaders after a spectacular game

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2018/19 Podcast 19: A game of two halves

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