Madrid: Brazilian striker Neymar continued to win the hearts of the Barcelona fans as he scored his side`s both goals in a hard-fought 2-1 win over a Villarreal side in the BBVA Primera Liga football.
Saturday night`s win moves Barcelona five points clear or Real Madrid who earlier in the day could only draw 2-2 away to Osasuna, reports Xinhua.
Barcelona coach Tata Martino made several changes to the side which had beaten Celtic 6-1 in midweek. Jordi Alba, Cesc Fabrigas, Marc Bartra and Alex Song among those drafted in to face a Villarreal side without key midfielders, Bruno Soriano and Cani.
Song was playing in a more advanced role than he has to date for Barcelona and looked comfortable in a position more in common to that he enjoyed at Arsenal. He was close to opening the scoring when he volleyed against the post from a narrow angle after just 6 minutes.
Barcelona had around 75 percent of the ball in a first half which was almost exclusively played in the Villarreal half. Although chances were few and far between against a side with four in defence and five players spread across midfield with only former Barcelona youngster, Giovani Dos Santos in attack.
It needed a touch of fortune for Barcelona to open the scoring as referee Iglesias Vilanova awarded a penalty on the half hour as Mario Gaspar needlessly handled Alba`s first time cross.
Neymar stepped up and coolly sent Sergio Asenjo the wrong way from the penalty spot.
Alexis Sanchez then produced a fine save from Asenjo as Iniesta`s deflected shot fell kindly for him in front of goal, but the keeper got down well to his left to make the block.