First Division - Day 37

Barcelona 3 - Villarreal 3

Barcelona: Jorquera; Belletti (Gabri 75'), Oleguer, Puyol, Sylvinho; Xavi, Márquez (Edmilson 46'), Deco; Giuly (Larsson 79'), Eto'o, Ronaldinho. 4-3-3.
Villarreal: Reina; Javi Venta, Quique Alvarez, Gonzalo Rodríguez, Arruabarrena; Marcos Senna, Josico; Héctor Font (Peña 74'), José Marí (Guayre 86'), Sorín (Calleja 49'); Diego Forlán. 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barcelona: Jorquera, Belletti, Sylvinho for Víctor Valdés, Van Bronckhorst, Iniesta / Villarreal: Josico, Héctor Font, José Marí, Sorín for Peña, Cazorla, Riquelme, Figueroa.

0-1. 16. Forlán. Took return pass from Font and struck shot across Jorquera.
0-2. 29. Forlán (penalty). After José Marí brought down by Oleguer in area.
1-2. 33. Ronaldinho. Header over keeper on far post from Belletti cross.
2-2. 37. Giuly. Hooked ball in lying on ground after Reina couldn't hold shot.
3-2. 47. Giuly. First time shot in off post after Ronaldinho's cross deflected up.
3-3. 69. Forlán. Ran on to José Marí short pass to lob ball over Jorquera.

A lively match in Barcelona, where the home side were presented with the cup for winning the league title before kick off, but were then given a close call by a Villarreal team who needed to pick up points to keep up their fight for a Champions League place. With the championship already in the bag, Rijkaard rested Víctor Valdés and gave a first run out to keeper Jorquera, who was in action early on as the visitors pushed forward. He could do little though when Diego Forlán latched on to a return pass from Héctor Font to fire a shot into the far corner of the net.

Samuel Eto'o was looking to extend his lead at the top of the Pichichi chart, and he had a golden opportunity when referee Esquinas Torres awarded him a penalty after a foul by Quique Alvarez. However the Camerooni striker crashed his shot against the bar, and watched with frustration a few minutes later when Forlán converted a second spot kick at the other end after Oleguer brought down José Marí.

Eto'o was doing everything he could to score, even taking the free kicks, but it was Ronaldinho who pulled one back when he headed Belletti's cross past Reina. And before the half time whistle Giuly made it all square when he hooked a loose ball into the net from close range whilst lying on the floor.

Two minutes in to the second half Eto'o should have scored when Ronaldinho's cross was deflected up into the air, but once again the striker failed to connect. The ball ran to Giuly though, who drove a first time shot in off the far post from a wide angle. Deco could have got a fourth goal, but soon afterwards the visitors broke away again, and Oleguer could only steer the ball into the path of José Marí, who played the ball across for Forlán to complete his hat-trick and move to within a goal of Eto'o in the race for the Pichichi. Things calmed down after that, leaving the visitors with an important point which keeps them in third spot in the table.