Despite continuously denied Messi’s divine touch, Barcelona still enjoys winning in La Liga.
Neymar scored twice and Luis Suárez added another to again lead Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Villarreal that lifted the defending champions to the top of the Spanish league.
Still, Barcelona needed an hour of insistent attacks until Neymar broke through before Suárez added a penalty in the 70th.
Then, Neymar scored an exquisite second goal when he used a sublime touch to flip the ball over a defender before spinning and driving it home.
Even as they slowly approach a rather tame El Clasico (Real Madrid was just defeated 3-2 at Sevilla), the Neymar-Suarez combo looks strong enough to carry the team through the huge challenges ahead.
The two stars lead Barcelona with 13 goals each this season and have scored 20 of the side’s 23 goals since Lionel Messi tore a ligament in his left knee in September.