Barcelona striker Luis Suarez netted his 14th La Liga goal of the season in some style on Sunday against Villarreal.
The game was tied at 1-1 when Lionel Messi plucked the ball out of the air and then embarked on a mazy run before finding his team-mate just outside the penalty area.
The Uruguay international calmly accepted possession from his captain before whipping a brilliant finish past goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo and into the top corner.
The goal was also Suarez’s 194th in a Barcelona shirt and means he moves level with László Kubala in third place on the club’s list of all-time goalscorers.
Barcelona took the lead in the match in the opening minutes when Pau Torres put past his own goalkeeper from close range under pressure from Antoine Griezmann.
Villarreal equalized on 14 minutes when Gerard Moreno netted after Barca goalkeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen has saved Santi Cazorla’s shot.
Setien Highlights Suarez’s Importance
Suarez has struggled for goals since making his return from knee surgery in June which has drawn criticism. He scored his first goals since January in the 2-2 draw against Celta Vigo but had fired blanks in his other five matches.
Manager Quique Setien defended the striker ahead of the match and highlighted just how important he is to the team.
“I think he is a player who has to be on the field. He has given the club many goals and we have confidence in him. It is true that there are moments that we could give him rest, but it depends on the circumstances.”
Suarez certainly repaid his manager’s faith in some style with his stunning goal against Villarreal. Only team-mate Messi, Real Madrid’s Karim Benzema and Moreno have scored more in La Liga than Suarez this season.
Must-Win for Barcelona
Barcelona came into the match under huge pressure to get a result after falling seven points behind Real Madrid in the race for the league title. Los Blancos beat Athletic earlier in the day courtesy of a Sergio Ramos penalty.
Setien’s side had drawn three of their last four matches heading into the match, which has hit their title hopes, and brought pressure on their manager after only five months in the job.
Villarreal headed into the match in great form. The Yellow Submarine had won five and drawn once in six games since La Liga restarted after a three-month break.