Football

LaLiga | Late goals ensure Barcelona win away at Villarreal

Barcelona players celebrate at the end of the La Liga soccer match between Villarreal and Barcelona in Villarreal, Spain, Saturday, November 27, 2021.   | Photo Credit: AP

Barcelona scored twice in the closing stages for a 3-1 triumph at Villarreal on November 27 as they won away for the first time this season and handed new coach Xavi Hernandez a second successive LaLiga triumph.

Memphis Depay calmly went around goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli to score a dramatic 88th-minute goal that restored their lead and Philippe Coutinho added a stoppage-time penalty as Barcelona advanced to 23 points, seven behind leaders Real Madrid who play Sevilla on November 28.

Villarreal had fought back through Samuel Chukwueze to equalise after 76 minutes after Frenkie de Jong’s early second-half effort had seen Barcelona open the scoring.

Villarreal, beaten at home by Manchester United in the Champions League on November 23, remain in 12th spot in the standings with 16 points from 14 matches.

Barcelona’s victory followed a fortuitous 1-0 win over Espanyol last week in Xavi’s coaching debut and a goalless draw with Benfica in the Champions League in midweek.

"We dominated less than I expected but in the end we found the goal with Memphis. They are three golden points. You also have to be lucky. Villarreal did not deserve to lose,” Xavi said.

Barcelona needed the intervention of the Video Assistant Referee to confirm De Jong’s goal after it had been initially ruled offside.

Jordi Alba thrashed the ball in from the left side and it looked as if Depay was offside before he got a touch that was blocked by home goalkeeper Geronimo Rulli but rebounded fortuitously for De Jong to tap home.

The VAR check found Depay had been onside to give Barcelona a 48th-minute lead.

Villarreal fought back to equalise through Chukwueze and were pressing their advantage in search of a late winner when they were caught by a counter-attack, with Depay collecting the ball, rounding Rulli and slotting in from a tight angle to restore the lead.

A handball then allowed substitute Coutinho the chance to make sure of the victory right at the end of the game.

Earlier on November 27, Rayo Vallecano moved into fifth as they held Valencia to a 1-1 away draw, with Isi Palazon scoring for their visitors midway through the second half after Valencia had gone ahead in the opening 20 minutes through Carlos Soler’s penalty.

Iago Aspas scored the winner as Celta Vigo claimed a 2-1 triumph at Deportivo Alaves to end a run of three successive draws and move further away from the relegation zone.

Getafe remain second from bottom but did get an away point when they held Mallorca to a goalless draw.

The results:

Premier League: On Sunday: Brentford 1 (Toney 24-pen) bt Everton 0; Leicester 4 (Maddison 16, Vardy 34, 42, Lookman 68) bt Watford 2 (King 30-pen, Dennis 61); Manchester City 2 (Gundogan 33, Fernandinho 90) bt West Ham 1 (Lanzini 90+4). On Saturday: Norwich 0 drew with Wolves 0.

La Liga: On Sunday: Real Betis 3 (Juanmi 54, 63, 78) bt Levante 1 (Musatafi 7). On Saturday: Valencia 1 (Soler 19-pen) drew with Rayo Vallecano 1 (Palazon 64); Mallorca 0 drew with Getafe 0; Villarreal 1 (Chukwueze 76) lost to Barcelona 3 (De Jong 48, Depay 88, Coutinho 90+4-pen).

Serie A: On Sunday: AC Milan 1 (Romagnoli 21) lost to Sassuolo 3 (Scamacca 24, Kjaer 33-og, Berardi 66); Spezia 0 lost to Bologna 1 (Arnautovic 83-pen); Udinese 0 drew with Genoa 0. On Saturday: Empoli 2 (Bandinelli 87, Pinamonti 89) bt Fiorentina 1 (Vlahovic 57); Juventus 0 lost to Atalanta 1 (Zapata 28); Sampdoria 3 (Candreva 51, Ekdal 77, Murru 90) bt Verona 1 (Tameze 37); Venezia 0 lost to Inter Milan 2 (Calhanoglu 34, Martinez 90+6-pen).

Bundesliga: On Sunday: Eintracht Frankfurt 2 (Sow 22, Ndicka 90+5) bt Union Berlin 1 (Kruse 62-pen). On Saturday: Hertha Berlin 1 (Richter 40) lost to Augsburg 1 (Gregoritsch 90+7); VfL Bochum 2 (Polter 54, Pantovic 82) bt Freiburg 1 (Lienhart 51); Greuther Fuerth 3 (Leweling 22, Tillman 46, Hrgota 67) lost to Hoffenheim 6 (Bebou 32, 62, Rutter 40, 57, Meyerhofer 66-og, Kramaric 80); Bayern Munich 1 (Sane 71) bt Arminia Bielefeld 0.

French Ligue 1: On Sunday: Saint-Etienne 1 (Bouanga 23) lost to Paris Saint-Germain 3 (Marquinos 45+2, 90+1, Di Maria 79); Bordeaux 1 (Gregersen 43) lost to Brest 2 (Le Douaron 60, 66); Monaco 1 (Ben Yedder 45+1-pen) drew with Strasbourg 1 (Ajorque 48-pen); Lorient 0 lost to Rennes 2 (Laborde 75, Doku 78); Reims 1 (Konan 90+1) bt Clermont 0. On Saturday: Lille 1 (Yilmaz 9) drew with Nantes 1 (Blas 24); Nice 0 lost to Metz 1 (Centonze 31).


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