Barcelona secured a 2-1 comeback victory over Villarreal at La Ceramica in La Liga on Sunday afternoon. The result means that the Blaugrana move level on points with Real Madrid with a game in hand, four points clear of Sevilla with the same number of games played and just two points behind Atletico Madrid, who play Athletic Bilbao tonight.
Villarreal have their Europa League semi-final first leg with Arsenal coming this Thursday, but Unai Emery insisted pre-game that his team’s focus was on Barcelona only. They’re in a fight with Real Betis and Real Sociedad for a European place for next season, after all, now a point behind each in seventh with a game more played than the latter.
Villarreal took the lead in the 27th minute through the in-form Nigerian winger Samuel Chukwueze, who converted neatly after superb work from the highly-rated La Roja centre-back Pau Torres in the buildup through an incisive defence-splitting pass.
Barcelona got back on level terms two minutes later, when Antoine Griezmann scored courtesy of a delicious little dink over Sergio Asenjo, before completing the remontada in the 36th minute when he seized on an error from Juan Foyth.
“It’s a big step towards the title,” Ronald Koeman said post-match in comments carried by Marca. “Every victory is a step forward. Every match is difficult. We reacted well to their goal, creating chances. We were tired in the final stretch, but we defended well. Sometimes you have to suffer. You can have a good opponent, someone who makes it difficult for you. We weren’t nervous after their goal. In the end it was enough to get a win out of a complicated ground.”