NEWS
Sunday December 10 2017
Barca sink 10-man Submarine

Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi both got on the scoresheet as Barcelona returned to winning ways with a 2-0 victory over Villarreal on Sunday.

See how the action unfolded at La Ceramica with our liveblog!

Barca put another ordinary half of football behind them to maintain their five-point lead at the top of La Liga, with the pair's goals coming after Dani Raba had been shown a straight red card.

Denis Suarez returned to Villarreal in the place of Andres Iniesta, while the Yellow Submarine lost Pablo Fornals after he fainted in training.

The hosts came into the match on the back of successive League defeats and had not beaten the Catalans since March 2008.

However, the Liga leaders were winless in two and faced with the pressure of not dropping points after Real Madrid and Valencia both emerged victorious the day before.

The Blaugrana were denied a dream start by the crossbar as Gerard Pique’s header from a corner crashed off the woodwork.

However, Ter Stegen was quickly called into action as Mario Gaspar whipped a cross into Barca’s box for Roberto Soriano, whose first-time volley was parried away by the German.

Soriano was particularly dangerous in behind Cedric Bakambu, and the Italian curled a shot just wide, before Messi – with only one goal in seven games – couldn’t guide his daisy-cutter on target.

Jaume Costa then angled a cross into the visitors’ six-yard box, but Ter Stegen punched it away before Soriano could throw himself at the ball.

The game appeared destined for stalemate after Messi knocked Alba’s one-two wide of the far post, yet Dani Raba flew recklessly into Sergio Busquets with his studs up to leave Villarreal a man down.

That, combined with Aleix Vidal’s introduction, clicked Barca into gear, and Suarez suddenly grazed the woodwork from Alba’s cross into the six-yard box.

Nonetheless, he proceeded to play a give-and-go with Paco Alcacer, before quickly rounding Sergio Asenjo for his 50th away goal in a Blaugrana shirt.

Manuel Trigueros almost pulled one back for the home side when he let fly from 25 yards out, but his effort stung the palms of Ter Stegen.

Any hopes of a comeback were extinguished by an awful backpass, which gifted Messi the chance to blast the ball home for his 14th League goal of the season.

The Argentine was probably too selfless when he laid off the substitute to his right in Villarreal’s box, but his low strike was blocked by Asenjo.

Villarreal 0-2 Barcelona

Raba sent off 60 (V) Suarez 72, Messi 83 (B)

Villarreal: Asenjo; Mario, Alvaro, Victor Ruiz, Jaume; Soriano (Rukavina 64), Rodri, Ruben Semedo (Castillejo 48), Trigueros; Raba, Bakambu

Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Pique, Vermaelen, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets (Gomes 86), Denis (Alcacer 58); Paulinho (Vidal 68); Messi, Suarez

Referee: De Burgos Bengoetxea

Football Italia website