FULL TIME: Villarreal 2-3 Barcelona
We're into stoppage time here and Villarreal are pressing forward in search of an equaliser. Now it's Barcelona's turn it sit deep and soak up the pressure, although they don't look like conceding.
Barcelona Substitution
Three minutes of stoppage time to be played.
YELLOW CARD: Manuel Trigueros (Villarreal)
Villarreal Yellow card



Do Villarreal have anything left? They're somewhat unfortunate to be trailing given how well they've played, but there's still time for them to get something from it.
This game has been fantastically entertaining, and at the end of it all it looks like it might just keep Barcelona in the title race. Great turnaround and the away team are still looking for a fourth goal.
The decision has been reversed by the referee, and a freekick has been awarded, which eventually comes to nothing. Busquets looked to get a touch on the ball as he stretched to challenge Aquino. It wasn't even a foul!
YELLOW CARD: Sergio Busquets (Villarreal)
Barcelona Yellow card



GOAL! Villarreal 2 Barcelona 3 (83 mins - Lionel Messi). The comeback is complete! Busquets scoops a great pass over the top for Fabregas, who knocks it down with his head for Messi. The Barca number 10 finishes with aplomb.
Barcelona Goal

Right Footed - Bottom Left

Can Barcelona complete a remarkable turnaround? The momentum is certainly with them now. Villarreal are hanging on for dear life.
Villarreal Substitution
Great save by Asenjo! Messi lines up a freekick from the edge of the box, with the tension rising around El Madrigal. Messi's effort is good but the on loan Atletico keeper makes a good diving stop.
Villarreal have scored two exceptional goals tonight, but they've also scored two atrociously poor own goals. Musacchio had time to do anything with that cross, but he panicked and headed into his own net.
GOAL! Villarreal 2 Barcelona 2 (79 mins - Mateo Musacchio OG). Oh dear. Musacchio is put off by the jump of Gabriel in front of him and under pressure at all he heads into his own net.
Barcelona Goal

Header - Bottom Center

Pretty impressive in fairness the way Barca are still fighting for an equaliser here ... considering everything...

Barcelona keep coming back, with Iniesta clipping a ball into the box. But Villarreal defend it well once again, with Musacchio clearing with his head. But Barca come back at them. Again. A pattern is emerging.
Having said that, you get the feeling that if Barcelona can get one goal they could maybe find a second. The pressure continues to build on the Villarreal goal.
Marcelino is out on the touchline instructing his players with manic arm gestures, while Martino is slumped back in his chair. Does he know that this is the end of the road as far as the title goes?
Villarreal win a freekick on the halfway line, with Mascherno barging over Trigueros. It allows the home side to take a breather and relieve some of the pressure that had been building on their backline.
Indeed, Barcelona are controlling the vast majority of possession now. Even still, the hosts look organised at the back and when crosses do come into the box Asenjo rises highest to claim.

Gabriel's own-goal in the 5th own-goal scored by a Barcelona opponent in the Liga this season #fcblive [via @pedritonumeros]

Barcelona are starting to ramp up the pressure. But then, they were doing that at the end of the first half and they ended up conceding.
Busquets wins the ball in tackle 25 yards out from goal and plays it to Fabregas. But the former Arsenal midfield is charged down within seconds and his shot is blocked by the Villarreal players.
So what do Villarreal do now? Do they defend what they have and hold out for 2-1? Or do they continue to attack in search for a third goal. It's a difficult balance to get right, and it's up to Marcelino.
There's still time for Barcelona to take something from this game. They needed a slice of luck to get back in the contest, but now they have 20 minutes to score twice.
GOAL! Villarreal 2 Barcelona 1 (66 mins - Gabriel). Barca get lucky and have a goal to get themselves back in this game. Alves' cross takes a deflection off two opposition players and ends up in Asenjo's net.
Barcelona Goal

Right Footed - Bottom Right

Villarreal lump a long ball forward for Giovani to chase, but this time Mascherano deals with it and Barcelona come forward looking for a goal to get them back in the contest.
Tello will give Barcelona more of a threat on the wing. He's something different for Martino's side and might be able to break through the Villarreal defence, which has so far been rock solid.
Barcelona sub: Xavi Hernandez OFF, Cesc Fabregas ON.
Barcelona sub: Alexis Sanchez OFF, Cristian Tello ON.
Barcelona Substitution
Barcelona Substitution
Close to a Barca goal! Iniesta picks up the ball on the edge of the box, with Alexis throwing in a dummy to fool the defender, but his side footed effort flashes just past the post. Inches past the target.

This season is already effectively done for Barca. Bigger question is how to rebuild, which is far from clear even with FIFA ban suspended.

It looks like Barcelona's title challenge will come to an end here tonight. They don't look like getting back into this game and that would leave them with to much to do this late in the season.
Asenjo makes another great save! Messi's freekick from 20 yards out takes a wicked deflection off Cani, wrongfooting the keeper. But he shits his body well enough and makes the stop.
Villarreal have looked so dangerous on the break and once again, Barcelona have been punished. Mario's cross was perfect and Trigueros' header was even better. He put it in the only place Pinto couldn't reach it.
YELLOW CARD: Mario Gaspar (Villarreal)
Villarreal Yellow card



GOAL! Villarreal 2 (55 mins - Manuel Trigueros) Barcelona 0. What a header! Mario surges up the right side, playing a wonderful cross into the box for Tirgueros to run onto, who powers a header into the corner of the net.
Villarreal Goal

Header - Bottom Left

Good save by Asenjo! Messi takes control of a freekick 25 yards out, after Xavi fluffed his lines from this distance in the first half. But the effort is saved by the on loan Atletico keeper. Solid stop.
Finally, Barcelona seem to have a bit of fight about them. The incident with Alexis seems to have fired them up.
Messi goes on a determined run through the Villarreal midfield, riding several challenges befoere breaking into the box. But his shot is too close to Asenjo, who makes the save and clears the danger.
Well that was interesting. Aquino's backpass put Asenjo in all sorts of trouble, with the keeper cleaning out Alexis. But the referee says no penalty and Alexis is booked for his protests.
Barcelona Yellow card



YELLOW CARD: Alexis Sanchez (Barcelona)
Martino seems to have told Alves to stay back and defend a little more, closing down the space Cani and Perreira were getting in the first half.
The second half has started how the first ended, with Barca enjoying most of the ball only for the move to break down in the final third and Villarreal to hit them hard on the counter attack.
So can Barcelona keep their slim title hopes alive? They need to win this game and have 45 minutes to score twice, and make sure they don't concede another.

Barcelona have conceded the first goal of the match in their last 5 games #fcblive [via @fcb_datos]

HALF TIME: Villarreal 1-0 Barcelona
Villarreal Goal

Right Footed - Bottom Right

The second half has started at El Madrigal!
What did you make of the first half? Are Barcelona unlucky to be behind or do Villarreal deserve their lead? Tweet me (@grahamruthven)!
Villarreal take the lead right on the stroke of half time, and it's a lead they probably deserve on the balance of the chances. They have a real threat on the break and Barcelona are stuggling to deal with their wingers.
GOAL! Villarreal 1 (45 mins - Ruben Gracia Cani) Barcelona 0. The home side takes the lead! Perreira slots Cani through on goal with a measured pass, and the midfielder rolls the ball past Pinto into the bottom corner.
OFF THE LINE! Giovani breaks through the Barcelona backline, squaring the ball back to Aquino who looks to have an empty net to finish into. But Bartra doesn't give it up and clears off the line!
View image on Twitter

Picture: Barcelona players during minute of silence before the game [via @fcb_onetouch]

Now Villarreal break at pace down the left side, with Perreira evading the challenge of Bartra at the byline, but he can't quite get his shot off. This is turning into a compelling contest. Can we hold off half time?
Villarreal are sliced open for the first time, with the ball falling to Xavi eight yards out. But the midfielder takes too long to get his shot away and the defenders charge down the effort.
Indeed, Villarreal are now camped inside their own box and aren't even countering all that often. They still look very disciplined at the back though. How long can they hold out like this?
The home fans inside El Madrigal are unhappy with some of the decisions the referee has been making in the last few minutes. In fairness, some of the fouls have been pretty soft to say the least.
Barcelona are just starting to ramp up the pressure as the first half comes to a close. Can they find an opener before the break?
Remember how I said Messi had been more involved in the opening 20 minutes or so? Yeah, well since I said that he's done nothing. Quite literally nothing. Villarreal seem to have got to grips to him.
Villarreal Substitution
Villarreal sub: Tomas Pina OFF, Javier Ignacio Aquino OFF.
Right on cue, Mario breaks forward but Perreira miscontrols the pass and the ball drifts out of play.
Villarreal are doing well here. They look organised at the back and are hitting Barca hard on the counter attack. If they play their cards right they could come away with a result tonight, which would end Barca's title hopes.
A win tonight for Barca would bring them to within three points of Atletico Madrid. They play Simeone's side at the Camp Nou on the final game of the season. The question is, will that game mean something by then?
Had Giovani made contact with that close he would have surely found the net. He's played three games against his former club and has yet to score. That could yet change tonight.
Now Giovani whips in the corner kick, but Gabriel mistimes his leap and the chance is gone for the home side.
Giovani close to making it 1-0! Barca are robbed of the ball in their own half, with Cani playing a wicked ball between the keeper and defence for the Mexican striker, who can't quite stretch far enough to make a connection!
Pedro gets to the byline and plays a handy cross into the box, looking for Messi. But Gabriel gets his head on the ball and clears the danger. The flag is up when the ball is played back into the area.
Barca have had joy down the right side through Alves but they don't seem to be using him enough. At times he's been screaming for the ball. He's been an effective outlet out there so far.
Decent half chance for Villarreal, with a low cross being fizzed into the box from the right side. However, Giovani and Perreiro get in each other's way and the ball ends up ricocheting behind for a goal kick.
Every time Barcelona try to pick their way through the Villarreal defence, there's an opposition player on hand to make the tackle. The home team are proving to be a stubborn side to break down.
Iniesta tries his luck from long range, but he can't get enough ping on his effort and the ball dribbles wide of the target. Poor by his standards.
Villarreal pretty much have a Europa League place secured for next season, so you could say that this game doesn't mean all tha much to them. Motivation could be a problem for Garcia's side should they go a goal down.
Barca are starting to take full control of this game now. But can they find the cutting edge they've been lacking in recent games?
Messi looks to be a bit more lively tonight. He's not been on great form in recent weeks, but he is making himself more available for the midfielders and is linking up well with Pedro and Alexis.
Now it's Villarreal's turn to come forward, with the right fullback Mario surging on the counter attack. But after cutting inside off the wing he angles a shot just past the post, although Pinto wasn't too worried.
Messi finds a yard of space and drives into, taking a shot as soon as he has a sight of goal. However, Asenjo makes an unorthodox yet effective save with his legs. Messi had about four defenders after him there.
Xavi plays a short set piece to Alves, who takes a touch inside and lines up an effort on his left foot. But he blasts it over the bar. His weak foot is pretty wook, as it turns out.
Villarreal Substitution
Villarreal sub: Jeremy Perbet OFF, Jonathan Pereira ON.
Perbert is down and receiving treatment. He's indicating to the bench that he won't be able to continue. Looks like Garcia will be forced into an early change. The striker won't be continuing.
Alexis beats the offside to get to Alves' through ball, but his cross into the six yard box is cut out at the front post by Gabriel.
Pina and Jokic combine down the left side and almost find a way into the box, but Mascherano comes across just in time to make a challenge and halt the Villarreal attack just when it was starting to look dangerous.
Messi and Xavi stand over a freekick 25 yards out from goal, but the midfielder's effort is held comfortably by Asenjo in the Villarreal goal. Would have expected Messi to have taken that from there.
Barcelona try to build a move around the edge of the opposition penalty area, but Xavi's backheel pass is cut out by Trigueros, who comes across from the right side to help his teammates out.
Messi appears to be playing as the central striker in Martino's system. He has Alexis on his right, but I suspect the two will probably change position a lot as the game goes on.
View image on Twitter

Busquets' emotional reaction after the moment of silence for former manager Tito Vilanova. Heartbreaking.

Barca have started the better of the two teams, with Gabriel heading Dani Alves' cross into the box behind his own goal for a corner kick.
In the context of the title race, Barcelona really need three points if they are to have any chance of toppling Atletico. Time is running out for Martino's men and they need to start clawing back the difference.
One can't even imagine how difficult this game must be for the Barcelona players. Particularly those like Messi and Iniesta who players under Tito at under 14 level.
We're under way at El Madrigal!
The players are out on the pitch and are observing a heartfelt moment's reflection for Tito Vilanova.
TEAM NEWS: Villarreal - Asenjo, Mario, Musacchio, Gabriel, Jokic, Bruno, Pina, Trigueros, Cani, Giovani, Perbert. /// Barcelona - Pinto, Alves, Mascherano, Bartra, Adriano, Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Alexis.
I'm Graham Ruthven and you can contact me on Twitter ahead of the game. Do Barcelona stand any chance of mouting a late challenge on table toppers? Tweet me (@grahamruhven)!
Good evening and welcome to Barcelona's Spanish league clash against Villarreal. We'll bring you all the action and goals as they go in at El Madrigal, as Barca play their first game since the passing of Tito Vilanova. Kick-off: 20:00.

Starting Line-ups

    • 1
    • 3
    • Gabriel Paulista
    • 5
    • 2
    • 21
    • 4
    • 14
      Manu Trigueros
    • 10
    • 7
      Jérémy Perbet
    • 9
      dos Santos
Team Manager:  Marcelino García Toral
    • Sánchez
    • 10
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 8
    • 22
      Dani Alves
    • 15
    • 14
    • 21
    • 13
Team Manager:  Luis Enrique
Players Sub Time
Players Sub Time
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