Barcelona managed to snatch a point from the jaws of defeat in a highly entertaining affair against Villarreal at Estadio de la Ceramica.
Two late goals from captain Lionel Messi and star striker Luis Suarez salvaged a point for reigning La Liga champions Barcelona, as they managed to hold relegation battlers Villarreal to a 4-4 draw on Tuesday night.
Ernesto Valverde opted to leave out key men Messi, Gerard Pique and Ivan Rakitic from the starting lineup for the trip to Villarreal, but that did not seem to have affected Barcelona as they made a solid start with Philippe Coutinho handing them the lead just 12 minutes into the game. Malcom then made it 2-0 in favour of the Catalans four minutes left.
However, Villarreal were not one to go down easily as Samuel Chukwueze pulled one back for the home team halfway through the first period. And just five minutes later, Javier Calleja’s men had restored parity courtesy of a Karl Toko Ekambi goal.
The turnaround was complete when Vicente Iborra made it 3-2 for the Yellow Submarine and the game seemed done and dusted when substitute Carlos Bacca added a fourth in the 80th minute.
However, a red card to Alvaro Gonzalez minutes later seemed to have spurred Barcelona on as Messi, having come on as a substitute, scored a trademark free-kick in the 90th minute to halve the deficit. Three minutes into the added time Suarez came up with a brilliant half-volley to rescue a point and seal a great escape for the Catalans.
Here’s how the Barcelona fans reacted to a nail-biting encounter at Estadio de la Ceramica.
Barcelona always finding a way eithr draw a match or win a game. Messi & his cohorts always to the rescue pic.twitter.com/68XBINp9X4
— Triple A (@Ademayowa5) April 2, 2019
— Shreyas Somadder (@ShreyasSomadder) April 2, 2019
Good Lord! Whenever this man comes in, the game goes to a different dimension. From 2-4 to 4-4. That’s @FCBarcelona for you. What a strike by El Pisterelo and that cracker of a free kick by the Magician. What a match! #Messi makes the difference! pic.twitter.com/P2NAxyAnVP
— Siddhartha Choudhury (@siddobaba_) April 2, 2019
One important rule of football that you should teach your children is,
“As long as Lionel Messi is still on the pitch, and it isn’t full time yet, don’t ever ever ever ever WRITE FC BARCELONA OFF”
— Omo Pasitor📖 (@Emmzy_Pr) April 2, 2019
Forget it, Barcelona are more than a club! Much more than a club!
— JJ. Omojuwa (@Omojuwa) April 2, 2019
one of the very best football match of this incredible Spanish league.
Villarreal was absolutely amazing throughout the game but at last, at long long last the determination has won. Barcelona proves that they are an astonishing football machine. #VillarrealBarça
— Zain Haseeb (@ZainHaseeb11) April 2, 2019
#Barcelona, salute to you ⚽⚽⚽⚽ football can kill a human being ⚽⚽⚽👌👌👌👌
— enoo (@enooandisa) April 2, 2019
Just Barcelona things pic.twitter.com/Z5Ks6l9VCL
— Me (@SAMLVCFC) April 2, 2019
YOU COULD NOT WRITE IT!!!
WE’RE BARCELONA, WE NEVER DIE!!!
— totalBarça (@totalBarca) April 2, 2019
— Yara (@yara_lb) April 2, 2019
Fans took to Twitter in full force to celebrate the genius of Lionel Messi. The little magician turned the game on its head after coming on and was integral for the Catalans to muster a comeback, dispatching another sensational free-kick under pressure.
See eh, Barcelona should just invest in those Scientists who plan on Cloning Messi because once this one’s time is done there gonna need another Messi.
— OPTIMUS 🔆JUNIOR🇳🇬 (@JuniorEbong) April 2, 2019
Only a god of football can do it .
Amazing skills from Lionel Messi.
He comes in as a substitute and changes everything.
god of free kicks.
FT Villarreal 4-4 Barcelona #villarrealbarca #Barca pic.twitter.com/PBSHh4T5Ub
— Stella Williams (@Stella_Williej) April 2, 2019
Messi has mastered the art of free kicks. He makes them look like penalties… Genius 🙌🙌🙌
— T. Deryc. R (@greek_god_0) April 2, 2019
— 🇳🇵 Apex 🇳🇵 (@najarlovesbarca) April 2, 2019
GOAT in to save the day yet again. Lionel Messi. 🐐 https://t.co/pbuRMwLUTH
— Ahmed ∞ (@MessiCuIe) April 2, 2019
Isn’t it amazing how he does this at ease all times despite the pressure on him????
You absolutely have no reason to hate the GREATEST OF ALL TIMES!!!!🙌🙌🙌🙌
This is LIONEL MESSI. The only alien player we have in this world.
— Omo Pasitor📖 (@Emmzy_Pr) April 2, 2019