Villarreal 1-2 Barcelona, result, summary, goals | LaLiga 2020/2021
Villarreal 1-2 Barcelona: as it happened
Villarreal meanwhile remain in seventh and outside the European places. That won't matter a jot of course if Emery guides his side to the Europa League title. The Yellow Submarine take on Arsenal in the semi-finals with the first leg on Thursday.
Here's a look at the top of the table after Barça's win. Koeman's side have a game in hand and Atlético are in action later this afternoon.
And that's it! Barça win a hard-fought game and move level on points with Real Madrid.
Free kick for Barcelona as Messi gets tangled up in yellow shirts. Villarreal clear and have a final chance to break...
Dembélé plays Messi in on the right but the flag is up.
Five minutes added...
Barça clear and the rebound falls to Gaspar, who fires high from the edge of the area.
Corner for Villarreal as Piqué deflects a cross behind.
Yeremi Pino and Mario Gaspar on for Villarreal, Chukwueze and Raúl Albiol off.
Ronald Araújo on for Busquets as Koeman looks to shut up shop for the final few minutes.
Dangerous free kick for Villarreal as Ilaix floors Chukwueze... but Moreno can't get on the end of it and Ter Stegen gathers.
De Jong! The Dutchman is through on goal but sends a chip wide with only Asenjo to beat!
Busquets goes into the book for a late challenge on Chukwueze.
Another corner for Villarreal... Ter Stegen punches clear.
Griezmann heads off after a decent afternoon's work, Dembélé replaces his international teammate.
Gerard Moreno flashes a shot wide after more good work from Chukwueze.
Étienne Capoue makes way for Moi Gómez as Emery makes a tactical adjustment following the sending off.
Pau Torres finds his way into the book for an elbow in Messi's chops as the Argentinean was trying to wriggle away on the right.
Villarreal attack through Gerard Moreno but his cross is hacked clear.
Ilaix! The youngster buys himself a yard in the area and hits a shot that Asenjo repels with a foot.
Estupiñán drives in from the left and hits a low shot that Ter Stegen smothers on the second attempt.
But the Argentinean is up again and smiling wryly as he has a chat with Dani Parejo.
Messi, meanwhile, remains on the turf.
Straight red card for Manu Trigueros! The Villarreal midfielder clatters into Messi with his studs showing and he's sent packing!
Pedri heads off to make way for Ilaix Moriba.
Ter Stegen! Chukwueze tees up Capoue and the Barça keeper makes a fine save with his foot while diving in the other direction.
Pervis Estupiñán and Francis Coquelin on for Villarreal, Alberto Moreno and Alcácer head off.
Messi glides through the Villarreal defence and tries to get the ball on his left but ends up firing a right-footed effort well over the bar.
Griezmann! Decent chance for the Frenchman who just can't connect with Sergi Roberto's cross.
Plenty of movement from both benches at the moment, changes afoot we fancy.
Alcácer is through but Mingueza gets across to nick the ball off his boot and concede a corner.
Griezmann goes in the book for a late challenge on Gerard.
Chukwueze, who has been Villarreal's liveliest attacking outlet, is down after a cynical block from Alba.
Sergi Roberto is on for Barcelona for the second half, Sergiño Dest off.
Back underway in La Cerámica!
Barça racked up 10 shots in the first half, with five on target. Villarreal only managed three with one between the sticks, Chukwueze's excellent solo goal.
And that's the half! Not a second added to a pulsating opening 45.
Asenjo again! The Villarreal keeper makes a decent stop from Dest but the flag was up against De Jong anyway.
Griezmann! The forward sensed his hat-trick there as De Jong played him in with a lovely back heel but Asenjo was equal to the effort at his near post.
More good defending from Piqué, who covers the lines well to deny Gerard a run down the right with Alcácer lurking in the middle for a cross.
Chukwueze finds Alcácer in the area but the former Barça striker is adjudged to have used his hand to control the ball under pressure from Piqué.
Emery is speechless on the touchline as Foyth inexplicably plays a ball back straight to the Frenchman, who only has to sweep past an equally unsuspecting Asenjo to grab his second of the game. What an error from the Argentinean!
Chukwueze drives forward again and tries to pick a pass to Alcácer but Piqué is there to snuff out the danger again. A decent game from the Barça defender, who had a little chat with Koeman earlier about a technical issue.
What a flurry of action in La Cerámica! Now Villarreal come forward again through Parejo but Piqué repels Foyth's incursion.
The Frenchman finds his way through on the right and dinks a lovely chip over Asenjo to level the scores!
A glorious ball from deep is picked up by Chukwueze, who leaves Alba eating turf and gets the better of Piqué before rounding Ter Stegen and slotting home!
66 percent of possession for Barcelona, seven shots from the visitors. Just two from Villarreal, both from Gerard Moreno.
Villarreal are dropping deep already to prevent Barça overunning the back four. The whole of the home side in their own half when not in possession.
Emery has won just two of 26 games against Barcelona during his career.
Asenjo again! The Villarreal keeper denies Messi at the near post this time.
Asenjo! What a save! Barça thought that was in! A glorious move carves the home defence apart and De Jong has a tap-in but the keeper makes an absolutely world-class save to deny the Dutchman!
Barça have a decent chance as Griezmann and De Jong manage to filter a ball through to Messi from an Alba cross but Villarreal hack it clear.
It's straight into the wall from the Barça captain though, as he slipped when hitting the ball.
Barça have a free kick and it's very much inside Messi range...
Gerard! Chukwueze steals into the area and finds the Spain striker, whose first time effort flashes over the bar.
Griezmann! De Jong feeds the Frenchman with a lovely ball and Asenjo makes a decent stop.
Jordi Alba had done all the hard work there to reach a long ball but his cross was poor and Villarreal clear.
Moreno! The ball finds its way to Gerard at the back stick and he plants his header just over. The Spain international was completely unmarked there.
Corner for the home side as Dest halts Alberto Moreno's run.
The home side applying a hard press in the opening exhanges and Barça are having trouble getting it out of their own half.
Crikey, Gerard Moreno has scored 43 percent of Villarreal's goals this season.
We're off! Villarreal get the ball rolling.
The teams are coming out at La Cerámica and it's a lovely old day in Vila-real. The home side are wearing shirts congratulating the women's side on their promotion. It'll be quite a party tonight if the men's side can back that up with a win here.
Messi goes 12 consecutive seasons scoring 25 goals or more in LaLiga
Messi in Golden Boot hunt
The Argentinean has already equalled his numbers from last season, strengthening his chances of winning another pichichi trophy and he is level with Cristiano Ronaldo for the Golden Boot.
Villarreal Femenino promoted
Congratulations to Villarreal Femenino, who have secured promotion to the top flight Liga Iberdrola for next season.
Barcelona starting XI confirmed
Barça appear to be fielding five defenders so we'd imagine Koeman is going with three at the back and a five-man midifield with Dest and Alba playing as wing backs. Messi and Griezmann will start up top.
Villarreal starting XI confirmed
Emery has not held back with the small matter of a Europa League semi-final against Arsenal on the horizon. Samu Chukweze, Paco Alcácer and Gerard Moreno will lead the line in La Cerámica.
The last time Villarreal beat Barcelona, Jon Dahl Tomasson and Marcos Senna were on target in a 2-1 win, with Xavi providing Barça's goal. Also in that Yellow Submarine side were Diego Godín, Joan Capdevila, Santi Cazorla and Robert Pirés.
Koeman aims barb at Tebas: "Our timetable hasn't changed, despite our complaints"
Koeman on Villarreal
A long time has passed since then [the 4-0 at Camp Nou]. They play good football and have quality up front, they have been showing in Europe that they are a strong side. They have until Thursday to prepare for their tie against Arsenal. It'll be an interesting game.
Villarreal have won four of their last six in LaLiga but have been far from convinvcing at home, losing three of their last four and only winning six times at La Cerámica all season and only twice since last November.
Koeman era begins with Ansu Fati-inspired 4-0 rout of Villarreal
Emery's side were caught cold in Camp Nou in the return fixture on the opening day of the season but things swiftly took a downward turn for Koeman after that 4-0 win. Both sides have enjoyed some decent form of late though and Koeman has really turned the domestic season around to place Barcelona firmly in the running for the title in his first season in charge as well as winning the Copa del Rey.
Neither manager has too many injury concerns today. Emery is without Vicente Iborra in midfield while left back Pervis Estupiñán is carrying a knock. For Barça, Neto and Ousmane Dembélé passed late fitness tests but Koeman will be missing Martin Braithwaite, Ansu Fati and Philippe Coutinho.
It was also in the 2007-08 season that Villarreal last beat Barcelona with Manuel Pellegrini masterminding a Liga double over Frank Rijkaard’s side.
Unai Emery and Ronald Koeman have met only twice before in the dugout, the Barça manager overseeing a 4-0 victory earlier this season and Emery beating the Dutchman’s Valencia with Almería back in 2008.
Real Madrid drop vital points in LaLiga title race
Real Madrid were held to a goalless draw by Betis on Saturday to hand the initiative back to Barça and Atlético, both of whom play today.
You can see how that game unfolded here.
Villarreal meanwhile are looking to leapfrog Betis and Real Sociedad into fifth with the battle for the Europa League spots as tight as the title race.
Victory today will take Barcelona level on points with Real Madrid and two adrift of Atlético, with a game in hand and a potentially decisive match between Diego Simeone's leaders and Ronald Koeman's side coming up in a couple of weeks.
Villarreal vs Barcelona: live
Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the LaLiga fixture between Villarreal and Barcelona from La Cerámica. Kick-off is at 16:15 CEST.
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