Barcelona had Lionel Messi and Gerrard Pique on the substitutes’ bench as Villarreal and Barcelona played out a thrilling 4-4 draw at the Estadio Ceramica on Tuesday night with Super Eagles forward Samuel Chukwueze scoring and providing an assist.
In the seventh minute, Chukwueze latched onto a loose ball from Samuel Umtiti but Andre de Stergen batted away his low shot from close range.
Sergio Roberto found Malcolm who squared the ball into the Villarreal box where Philippe Coutinho was present to poke home.
The VAR had to confirm that Malcolm was not in an offside position when he provided the assist.
The Brazilian made it 2-0 from a header inside 15 minutes but Coutinho’s smart dink three minutes later came off the post.
Chukwueze reduced the deficit for the Yellow Submarines with an exquisite finish in the 23rd minute.
The Nigerian was at the end of a Santi Cazorla pass after Vicente Iborra set the move in motion with a deceptive back heel.
Toko Ekambi scored the hosts’ third goal, pouncing on Chukwueze’s assist with a sliced cross which deceived Ter Stegen.
Three goals became four when Carlos Bacca rounded up Ter Stegen after he ran up to reach a long pass from Nuno Mori.
Alvaro Gonzalez was red carded for a foul on Luis Suarez with about five minutes left on the clock with Chukwueze replaced.
Messi showed class with a sumptuous free kick in the 90th minute to make it 4-3 and Suarez completed the eight-goal thriller with a rasping shot before full time.