Antoine Griezmann was the hero as Barcelona drew level on points with second-placed Real Madrid by beating Villarreal 2-1 in the 2020-21 season of the Spanish La Liga.
Nigerian star Samuel Chukwueze gave the hosts the lead with a neat finish in the 26th minute before Griezmann scored 2 goals just shortly after in the first half itself to seal the 3 points for the away team.
Villarreal did not have much time to enjoy their lead as the French forward equalised inside 2 minutes with a beautiful finish to make it seem like it would be a long game for the home side. The Frenchman doubled his tally for the game and that proved enough for the Catalans who then held on.
Griezmann pounced on a poor pass by Juan Foyth who is on loan from Tottenham Hotspur, to put Barca ahead. Villarreal’s Manu Trigueros Munoz was then sent off for a foul on Lionel Messi in the 65th minute, which pretty much sealed the victory for the Copa del Rey champions.
This victory now puts Barcelona two points behind leaders Atletico Madrid but they can leapfrog Diego Simeone’s side by beating Granada on Thursday to become the favourites to win the league title and complete the domestic double by adding to the Copa del Rey they won last week by beating Athletic Bilbao 4-0.
Ronald Koeman’s side, who were 12 points off the top earlier in the season, have one game in hand on Real Madrid and can win the league title after everyone ruled them out given the tumultuous start to the league and all that happened off the pitch with the club.
One of Barca’s remaining six league games is at home to Atletico on 8th May, which may prove to be the title decider. That result could also directly affect Real Madrid and Sevilla who are also in the title race.
Things are heating up in Spain’s top flight and you cannot keep your eyes off it.