Neymar, Messi score in thrilling Barcelona comeback
BARCELONA, Spain (AP):
Lionel Messi and Neymar both scored to help Barcelona come from behind twice to beat Villarreal 3-2 and stay in the hunt for the Spanish league title yesterday.
Messi and Neymar netted their 22nd and 15th league goals of the season, respectively, as Luis Enrique's Barcelona never lost their nerve and answered sixth-place Villarreal goal for goal to end the visitor's club record run of 18 games without a loss.
"With those guys up front, it can't get any better," said midfielder Rafina, who took full advantage of a rare start to score Barcelona's other goal.
Villarreal's Denis Cheryshev struck on the half-hour mark to start the free-scoring match at Camp Nou.
Neymar made it 1-1 just before half-time, only for Luciano Vietto to finish off another Villarreal counterattack in the 51st.
But Barcelona hit back, and this time delivered a quick and decisive double blow.
Rafina pulled the hosts level for a second time in the 53rd and two minutes later Messi fired home a long-range shot - his 32nd goal in 30 games in all competitions this season.
Villarreal, however, didn't fade and both sides provided a thrilling second half of back-and-forth action.