Memphis Depay and Philippe Coutinho scored two late goals for Barcelona against Villarreal as Xavi Hernandez made it two wins from two La Liga games as manager.
Samuel Chukwueze’s equaliser looked to have given the Yellow Submarine a share of the points, but Barca hit back with just two minutes left to move within seven points of Real Madrid in top spot.
A testy opening saw Dani Parejo put in a bad tackle on Sergio Busquets after just three minutes that surprisingly wasn’t inspected by the VAR before Arnaut Danjuma failed to make the most of a wayward Eric Garcia backpass.
Gavi clipped the far post with a low strike as Barcelona pressed for an opener, but it was Pau Torres who was presented the best chance of the first half only for the Villarreal defender to head wide while completely unmarked from a corner kick.
Barca took the lead in controversial circumstances three minutes into the second half when a VAR review was used to decide Memphis was onside when the cross from Jordi Alba was played with de Jong following in on the rebound.
Villarreal could have been awarded a penalty kick for a challenge by Garcia on Raul Albiol, but drew level when substitute Chukwueze prodded a finish past Marc-Andre ter Stegen.
Against the run of play, Memphis made the most of some slack Villarreal defending from a ter Stegen long ball to round the goalkeeper and calmly convert as Barcelona edged ahead.
There was still time for Philippe Coutinho to win a penalty kick following a foul by Juan Foyth with the Brazilian stepping up to finish from 12 yards out and put the final touches on Barcelona’s first away La Liga win of the season.
More to follow..