First Division - Day 27

Barcelona 1 - Villarreal 2

Barcelona: Víctor Valdés; Zambrotta, Thuram, Milito, Abidal; Xavi, Toure Yaya (Giovani 84'), Iniesta; Henry (Bojan 64'), Eto'o, Ronaldinho. 4-3-3.
Villarreal: Diego López; Javi Venta, Gonzalo, Godín, Capdevila; Eguren, Marcos Senna; Cazorla, Pires (Bruno 75'), Mati Fernández (Nihat 86'); Guille Franco (Tomasson 63'). 4-2-3-1.

Team changes: Barça: Thuram, Toure Yaya for Puyol, Edmilson / Villarreal: Javi Venta, Mati Fernández for Angel, Nihat.

0-1. 31. Marcos Senna (penalty). After Valdés brought down Guille Franco in area.
1-1. 67. Xavi. Ran on to Iniesta pass and drove shot low past Diego López.
1-2. 81. Tomasson. Controlled Eguren pass and shot past Valdés from close up.

Real Madrid once again have an eight point lead over their nearest rivals after Barcelona lost 1-2 to third placed Villarreal on Sunday evening. Both keepers were in action early on, Diego López saving from Eto'o and Ronaldinho and Víctor Valdés stopping a couple of efforts from Mati Fernández. But Frank Rijkaard's side went behind on the half hour mark when Marcos Senna converted a penalty after Valdés brought down Guille Franco in the area, and that was how it stayed up to half time.

Xavi levelled the scores midway through the second half after Iniesta crossed in from the left, and López did well to keep out Iniesta a few minutes later. However Tomasson got the winner near the end after Cazorla and Eguren combined to set him up, and Villarreal could have won by a bigger margin had the referee not ruled out a late goal by Marcos Senna for a non existent offside. Villarreal move to within four points of their opponents in the table, pushing them now for that vital second spot which gives direct access to the Champions League.