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Dec 15, 2013

Neymar scored twice at the Camp Nou to take Barca to a deserving 2-1 victory over a hard working Villareal side. In a matter of three days Neymar was once again the Master on the Pitch, enthralling the fans, harassing the opponent and most importantly scoring the goals. In the end he had to consider himself pretty unlucky not to have completed his hat trick tonight. With Real Madrid dropping points today this hard fought victory could prove vital especially when the season reaches the end. After the success of Neymar in a Messi role in mid week, Martino took him back to his favorite left flank with Cesc Fabregas playing the false 9. Alexis Sanchez made the rest of the attack. Busquets, Iniesta and Song made up the midfield. Pique, Montoya, Bartra and Alba formed the defense in front of Pinto.

The way Villareal has been playing this season, nothing short of a tough day was expected. In the 7th minute Song created our first shot on target when his thundering volley from a corner hit the bar and stayed out. We were having most of the possession in the initial spell, but apart from that Song Chance ( one has to admit that was a good one) Villareal were doing a great job in keeping us from scoring. In the 15th minute Villareal had their first chance but Aquinho hesitated a bit and that was enough for Iniesta to clear. The game moved to a pretty interesting phase with no team able to impose themselves in the final third. That impasse was broken in the 29th minute when Villareal conceded a penalty after a hand ball inside the box. Neymar step up to take the penalty and duly converted. In the 40th minute Alexis was put on by a brilliant ball from Iniesta but his shot was brilliantly saved by the keeper. We created a number of half chances after the goal but going into the break one had to feel sorry for Villareal, as they didn't deserve to be behind.

The second half didn't start well for Barca as we conceded the equalizer in the 48th minute via a header from Musacchio from a Dos Santos corner. Bartra was guilty as he allowed Musacchio to go past him and thump the corner past Pinto. In the 51st minute Giovani Dos Santos skipped from the right into the box and send in a low shot just wide of the near post. In the 60th minute Alexis slipped a ball onto the right releasing Montoya but his cross was somehow cleared by the Villareal defense for a corner. In the 62nd minute Martino made the first change of the night - taking off Song and bringing in Xavi. In the 63rd minute Sanchez sent in a fantastic through ball releasing Cesc Fabregas, who was rather unlucky to see his shot ricochetted off the on rushing keeper and go just over the bar. In the 68th minute Barca regained the lead after Neymar finished off a simple tap in after Alexis squared the ball to Neymar from a Cesc Fabregas cross. Once again our intensity increased ten fold after the goal and Villareal were struggling to get out of their box. In the 82nd minute Villarealkeeper dived low to his left to deflect an exquisite Iniesta volley wide. In the 83rd minute Alexis came off for Pedro. In the 93rd minute Neymar should have had his hat trick after playing a neat one-two with Roberto but his shot went high over the bar.

All About FC Barcelona


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