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Friday 15 December 2017

Neymar brace sends Barca on their way to final destination

Barcelona's Neymar (front) celebrates near teammate Luis Suarez after he scored a goal against Villarreal during their Spanish King's Cup semi-final second leg soccer match at the Madrigal stadium
Barcelona's Neymar (front) celebrates near teammate Luis Suarez after he scored a goal against Villarreal during their Spanish King's Cup semi-final second leg soccer match at the Madrigal stadium

Barcelona's Neymar scored twice and Luis Suarez (pictured) was also on target as they reached the King's Cup final with a 3-1 win away to Villarreal last night that gave them a 6-2 aggregate victory.

Villarreal were dreaming of overturning the first-leg defeat at the Nou Camp to reach their first final but their hopes were hit when Neymar scored after three minutes.

Lionel Messi swung in an inviting cross from the right wing, allowing Neymar to nudge the ball past keeper Sergio Asenjo. Villarreal rallied despite the size of the task ahead and Jonathan dos Santos converted a Jaume Costa cross after 39 minutes to level the score on the night.

Barca were struggling to cope with Villarreal's attacking movement, but any realistic chance of a comeback was extinguished when Tomas Pina was sent off after 64 minutes for a reckless challenge on Neymar from behind.

Suarez latched onto a long ball from Javier Mascherano and rounded the keeper to put Barca ahead and Neymar nodded home a Xavi cross to seal a victory that was tainted by an ankle injury for midfielder Sergio Busquets.

The midfielder was carried off during the first half after an accidental collision as he attempted to block a pass by Tomas Pina.

"The player has an injury to his right ankle," the Catalan club said in a statement.

Villarreal 1 Barcelona 3 (Barca win 6-2 on agg)

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