MX23RW : Saturday, January 25 02:18:07| >> :600:25647208:25647208:
Apr 2, 2019 at 8.30pm UK at ​Estadio de la Cerámica (Villarreal)
Attendance: 19,515
Chukwueze (23'), Toko Ekambi (50'), Iborra (62'), Bacca (80')
Gonzalez (86')
FT(HT: 1-2)
Coutinho (12'), Malcom (16'), Messi (90'), Suarez (90')

Live Commentary: Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona - as it happened

Relive an eight-goal classic between Villarreal and Barcelona as late goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez rescue a 4-4 draw for the visitors.
Live Commentary: Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona - as it happened
© Reuters

Villarreal and Barcelona played out an eight-goal classic at the Estadio de la Ceramica this evening to leave the visitors with an eight-point lead at the top of La Liga.

Barca initially went 2-0 up with quickfire goals from Philippe Coutinho and Malcom, but Samuel Chukwueze sparked a remarkable comeback for the hosts by pulling one back midway through the first half.

Goals from Karl Ekambi, Vicente Iborra and Carlos Bacca appeared to send Villarreal on course for a famous victory, but Lionel Messi came off the bench to score another stunning free kick before Luis Suarez equalised with the final action of the match.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in a thrilling contest courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.

Right, that is about all we have time for on what has been an incredible night at the Ceramica!

Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for this absolute treat of a game, where Barcelona came from two goals down in the 90th minute to rescue a 4-4 draw - but even that only tells half of the story. For the rest of it, check out our match report and be sure to stick around for reaction too.

From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

Just incredible. There will surely not be a better game than that all season - it had everything. Goals galore, chances even more bountiful, a red card, late drama, two two-goal comebacks and some stunning strikes along the way.

It will feel like a win for Barcelona even though they let a two-goal lead slip, while Villarreal may ultimately reflect on an unexpected point even if it will feel like a defeat right now.


GOAL!  WHAT. A. MATCH. Barcelona rescue an incredible point at the death, and it is another incredible strike from Luis Suarez!

Messi's corner is not fully dealt with and is only cleared as far as Suarez, who lashes a stunning left-footed half-volley in at the near post to salvage a point.



A scramble in the box as Barcelona almost make another breakthrough. And now they win a late corner!

SHOT!  There will be three minutes of added time at the end of this match as Messi puts his foot through it from range, but his effort is always rising and flies over.

GOAL!  Messi seems to score more free kicks than penalties now! The maestro does it again with a powerful effort in off the post - another incredible goal. Hope for Barcelona!


Messi wins a free kick right on the edge of the box, and he loves them from here!

VILLARREAL SUB: A third and final change for Villarreal as the brilliant Chukwueze is replaced by Daniele Bonera.

RED CARD!  A late twist, but perhaps too late? Alvaro picks up a second yellow card for clattering into Suarez from behind and Villarreal will have to see this game out with 10 men.


YELLOW CARD!  Sergi Roberto becomes the fifth Barcelona player in the book tonight for an off-the-ball incident, while Messi has also just picked one up for a few words out of place.

YELLOW CARD!  Alena picks up a yellow for a sliding challenge despite getting the ball and none of the player.

Barcelona's lead will be cut down to seven points tonight if this stays the same. Barcelona has lost just twice all season before tonight, but this has been a shocked defensive performance.

GOAL!  Game over?! Villarreal add a fourth with 10 minutes remaining and may just have sealed a famous, famous comeback against the champions elect.

It is so easy again as Cazorla picks out a straight pass down the middle which sends Bacca clean through on goal - where is the defence?! From there Bacca takes the ball around Ter Stegen and slides the ball into the empty net to send the stadium wild.


Chukwueze again has the Barcelona defence falling over themselves as he comes forward here, but this time the finishing touch is off.

YELLOW CARD!  Vidal is the latest player in the book for a challenge on Caseres. Vidal will now miss the weekend meeting with Atletico.

SHOT!  Great feet from Messi as he takes it past one before poking the ball out to Malcom, who goes for goal and only picks out the side-netting when he had better options in the middle.

VILLARREAL SUB: Villarreal respond with a change of their own as Carlos Bacca replaces Ekambi.

BARCELONA SUBS: Double change from the visitors now as Carles Alena and Ivan Rakitic replace Arthur and Busquets.

SAVE!  How is this team 17th in the table?! Villarreal again string together a brilliant move which ends with Ekambi drawing a low save from Ter Stegen.

Less than 20 minutes remaining now and Barcelona still have plenty of work to do here if they are to avoid defeat having led 2-0 at one stage!

CHANCE!  Barcelona have defended terribly from open play and from corners tonight. Again Cazorla's cross causes problems as Alvaro meets it, but he again nods the ball wide!

OFF THE BAR!  Villarreal are the width of the crossbar away from perhaps wrapping this up. Again it is on the break as Chukwueze collects the ball as cut inside before firing an effort towards goal which takes a deflection on the way through. That makes it more difficult for Ter Stegen, but he reacts brilliantly to turn the ball against the crossbar.

Another break from Villarreal as the pace undoes Barcelona again, but this time Ekambi goes to ground far too easily inside the area in search of a penalty against Umtiti.

SHOT!  Messi has his first impact with a clipped pass over for Malcom, who chests it down for Suarez. The Uruguayan fires a volley towards goal, but it is always rising and flies over the crossbar.

VILLARREAL SUB: The hosts make a change in the wake of that goal as Santiago Caseres replaces Morlanes.

GOAL!  Incredible scenes at the Ceramica as Villarreal complete a remarkable turnaround!

It is far too easy for the hosts as Iborra is played through with a simple pass, and the midfielder clips his finish past Ter Stegen. VAR checks, but the goal will stand! What a comeback!


BARCELONA SUB: There is the change as the maestro Messi replaces Coutinho.

Villarreal have played so well tonight that they might have forgotten about Barcelona's ace up their sleeve. Lionel Messi is just about to come on...

Manchester United lost tonight, incidentally, but they could be licking their lips at some of this Barcelona defending. Chukwueze has given Lenglet and Umtiti nightmares, and the pace of Rashford could well do the same in the Champions League.

This has been a very strange match in many ways, as thrilling as it has been. Villarreal could have been two or three up inside 10 minutes, Barcelona could have scored three or four in the next 10 minutes and Villarreal have since got themselves back into the game after going two behind. The hosts deserve huge credit, even if their defence has left a lot to be desired.

CHANCE!  Another chance for the hosts as Barcelona fail to deal with a corner again. Cazorla's ball in is into a dangerous area once more and Alvaro Gonzalez climbs highest only to miss the target with his header.

Villarreal got a huge lift from their first goal, so that equaliser will only encourage them further. What a game this has been.

GOAL!  Incredible! Villarreal level things up as Ekambi scores from an impossible angle!

Again it is pure pace which undoes Barcelona initially as Chukwueze plays the ball down the right for Ekambi, who drives to the byline before seemingly trying to lift a cross into the box. However, the ball flies straight in, with Ter Stegen having left his near post unmarked in an attempt to cut out the expected cross!


We've seen Suarez try his luck from the halfway line already, and now the rather less likely candidate of Funes Mori goes for the same. Unsurprisingly, he gets it way off.

Cazorla slides a pass inside the full-back for Chukwueze, who tries to chip it over Alba but is soon flagged for offside.

KICKOFF:  Barcelona get us back underway for the second half!

Samuel Chukwueze pulled one back for Villarreal midway through the first half with a composed finish after his initial effort had hit the post, and it is the Nigerian who has been the main thorn in Barcelona's side so far.

Both sides have looked like scoring almost every time they come forward, though, and this one could just as easily be 5-5 at half time rather than 2-1. Hopefully we will see more of the same in the second half as it has been an absolute thriller so far.

Malcom turned from creator to goalscorer himself just four minutes later to double Barcelona lead with his first ever La Liga goal.

It was a well-taken one from the Brazilian youngster too, peeling off his marker to send a looping header into the far corner from Vidal's pinpoint cross. At that stage it looked like Barcelona could go on to embarrass their hosts, but Villarreal eventually began to turn things around.

The opening goal arrived after only 12 minutes when Philippe Coutinho broke the deadlock, although that one came against the run of play.

Malcom was played through down the right flank and had all the time he needed to pick out a pass into the box, which Coutinho met with a sliding finish into the empty net.

The opening goal arrived after only 12 minutes when Philippe Coutinho broke the deadlock, although that one came against the run of play.

Malcom was played through down the right flank and had all the time he needed to pick out a pass into the box, which Coutinho met with a sliding finish into the empty net.

Well, what a first half that was! It was end to end, filled with chances and had both sides in the ascendency at various points throughout the opening 45 minutes.

At the end of it all it is Barcelona who take the lead into half time, but they have rode their luck at times and relied on some big saves from Ter Stegen. The defending of both teams has been really poor so far.


SAVE!  Suarez gets a rare chance on free kick duties in the absence of Messi and he swings a fine 30-yard effort towards the far corner which the keeper needs to tip wide.

YELLOW CARD!  Funes Mori is the latest in the book for a foul on Suarez - the yellow cards are starting to rack up just like the chances now!

There will be two added minutes at the end of what has been a thrilling first half.

Cazorla tries to go low and under the wall, but it seems to hit his own man rather than the Barca wall doing their job.

YELLOW CARD!  Chukwueze has these Barcelona defenders on toast. This time he beats Lenglet before being brought down right on the edge of the box - right in Santi Cazorla territory...

CHANCE!  Ter Stegen has kept Barcelona in this to a certain extent! The keeper is alert once again when the rest of his defence goes to sleep, allowing Chukwueze to dart onto a loose ball inside the area. Ter Stegen spreads himself well to make another big save, though.

YELLOW CARD!  Busquets picks up Barcelona's first yellow for a frustrated challenge after being dispossessed in midfield.

There have been so many occasions where a Barcelona player has advanced into acres of space in midfield, where Villarreal have really struggled to compete.

YELLOW CARD!  Another sweeping move from Barcelona sees Malcom slide the ball to Suarez, who tries a backheel on the run but sees his effort saved before wrongly being flagged for offside. After that Alvaro Gonzalez picks up a yellow card for an earlier challenge on Coutinho.

Lenglet picked up an injury in all of that chaos which almost forced Pique to go out and warm up, but it looks as though the Frenchman will be fine to continue.

The hosts keep up their attack and a manic period of play sees the ball pinballing around but each deflection falling kindly for Villarreal until Barcelona can finally hack it clear.

Villarreal get down the left channel this time and Ekambi squeezes a low ball into the box which is just too far of two yellow shirts as Barcelona survive another major scare.

Good football from Coutinho as he exchanges passes on his way inside before spreading the ball out to Malcom, but the youngster puts a cross into the box which goes to no-one.

Barcelona just slow things down a little and enjoy a spell of possession after that Villarreal goal. An end-to-end game may suit their attackers, but Villarreal have also looked more than capable on the counter.

This has been an action-packed opening quarter to this game - we have had three goals and could have easily had three or four more. Both teams look like scoring almost every time they come forward.

GOAL!  Game on! Villarreal halve the deficit as Cazorla threads the ball through to Chukwueze, who cuts past Alba before seeing his shot take a slight deflection on its way against the post. Chukwueze refuses to give up on it, though, and collects the rebound before slotting it past Ter Stegen.


SAVE!  Coutinho is the next to come close for Barcelona as he is given all the space he needs to get a shot away, but Asenjo makes the save and collects the ball at the second attempt.

CHANCE!  This is just so easy for Barcelona. Again they get in behind as a pass goes through to Malcom down the left and the Brazilian pulls the ball back into the middle. Umtiti is there, but puts his finish wide when he too should have done better. This could be anything if Villarreal carry on defending like this.

OFF THE POST!  It should be three for Barcelona as they slice Villarreal open on the counter again! Coutinho and Suarez exchange passes before the former is played through inside the area, but his dinked finish bounces against the post when he should have scored.

This is a very harsh scoreline on Villarreal, it must be said. It has been a really open game so far and both sides have had chances - Barcelona have just taken theirs.

GOAL!  Barcelona hit Villarreal with a quickfire double! After creating the first, Malcom now has his maiden La Liga goal with a fine looping header into the far corner from Vidal's cross.

Who needs Messi?!


VAR! The goal stands! It looked like a close one, but the officials are satisfied that Malcom was just about onside.

GOAL!  ...and just like that, Villarreal's bright start comes to nothing. Barcelona cut through their hosts to break the deadlock, with Roberto sliding a pass through to Malcom down the right. The Brazilian youngster cuts inside before laying the ball into the path of Philippe Coutinho, who is left with the easiest of finishes.

We will go to VAR, though, as there is a question of offside over Malcom.


It might be time for Messi sooner rather than later at this rate! Villarreal have started this match really brightly, which only goes to make it even more puzzling why they are in the position they are in.

SHOT!  What an opening 10 minutes this has been! The end-to-end nature of the game continues as Ekambi cuts inside from the left flank and gets a shot away, but it is a couple of yards high and wide of the target.

SAVE!  Now Suarez tries his luck from the halfway line after seeing Asenjo off his line, and it is a really good effort too. For a moment it looks like he might succeed, but Asenjo gets back to make the stop.

CHANCE!  Villarreal are pounding on the Barcelona door in these early exchanges! A misplaced pass from Umtiti gifts the ball to Chukwueze, who shows great pace to storm past Lenglet only to be denied by another fine Ter Stegen save.

CHANCE!  Another corner leads to another chance as this time it is played short and Cazorla swings it to the back post. Pedraza is racing onto it in space, but mis-kicks it completely.

CHANCE!  And from that corner, Ter Stegen is forced into a fine save. Cazorla swings the corner in an Ibarra towers highest in the box to plant a header towards goal which Ter Stegen needs to tip over.

Umtiti is called into an important interception here, putting the ball behind for a corner with Ekambi hot on his tail.

We should note that Barcelona's lead at the top of the table has been cut down to seven just before kickoff in this match, with Atletico Madrid beating Girona in an earlier game tonight.

SAVE!  Poor from Ekambi as he gives the ball straight to Coutinho, sending the Barcelona attack surging forward. Coutinho gives it to Suarez, who twists and turns into a shooting position but sees his effort turned behind from a tight angle.

It is a Barcelona side missing some key players in the likes of Messi, Pique and Rakitic, but they still have plenty of talent and experience out there and will be firm favourites to get the win regardless of the talent left on their bench.

KICKOFF:  Here we go then! Villarreal get us underway!

BARCELONA STARTING XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Umtiti, Lenglet, Alba; Vidal, Busquets, Arthur; Coutinho, Suarez, Malcom

SUBS: Rakitic, Alena, Pique, Semedo, Pena, Boateng, Messi

VILLARREAL STARTING XI: Asenjo; Gaspar, Ruiz, Funes Mori, Gonzalez; Cazorla, Ibarra, Morlanes, Pedraza, Chukwueze; Ekambi

SUBS: Raba, Caseres, Bonera, Quintilla, Martin, Fernandez, Bacca

Good evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for tonight's La Liga clash between Villarreal and Barcelona at the Estadio de la Ceramica!

These two sides could barely have experienced more contrasting seasons so far, with Villarreal performing way below expectations to sit in 17th place and Barcelona once again leading the way and looking destined to retain the title. Tonight's match is one that could have a big impact at either end of the table, but Barcelona may just have one eye on upcoming games against Atletico Madrid and Manchester United.

Let's have a quick look at the team news before we get underway...

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