MADRID, Dec. 14 (Xinhua) -- Neymar scored twice as Barcelona defeated Villarreal 2-1 in the Camp Nou Stadium on Saturday night.
The Brazilian, who had scored a hat-trick against Celtic on Wednesday, scored a 30th minute penalty and they sealed the three points after Mateo Musacchio's powerful header had drawn a well-organized Villarreal level three minutes into the second half.
Barca had lost control of the game for a while, but the entry of Xavi Hernandez into the game as a second half substitute allowed them regain control of a match where they enjoyed over 70 percent of the possession.
The only disappointment is that Neymar will be suspended for next week's visit to Getafe after picking up his fifth booking of the campaign, presumably for time wasting.
Barca's win was all the more valuable given that Real Madrid left two valuable points in Pamplona and were forced to come from 2-0 down to take a point away to Osasuna.
Although Madrid had dominated the first half Oriel Riera put Osasuna 2-0 up with well taken headed goals and things went from bad to worse for Madrid who saw Sergio Ramos sent off for two yellow cards before Isco pulled a goal back on the stroke of halftime.
It is the 18th time the 27-year-old has been sent off in his time at Real Madrid.
Osasuna had the best of the second period, but they were reduced to 10 men with 11 minutes remaining when Francisco Silva lunged at Ronaldo and Pepe headed home the equalizer from the resulting free kick.
However, a lackluster Madrid were unable to create chances to take all three points in the closing minutes.
Rayo Vallecano are still deep in trouble after losing 2-0 at home to Granada. Fran Rico opened the scoring after 35 minutes and Granada's task was made considerably easier when Rayo defender Nacho was sent off just before halftime.
Rayo worked hard but were unable to find an equalizer and Riki sealed the three points on the break in the last minute of the game.
Finally Roque santa Cruz's goal 15 minutes from time gave Malaga a 1-0 win at home to Getafe and lifts the pressure off coach, Bernd Schuster.
Friday saw Levante fight back from a goal down to take an important 2-1 win at home to Elche.