Dazzling Neymar fires up Barcelona | sports | Hindustan Times
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Dazzling Neymar fires up Barcelona

sports Updated: Dec 16, 2013 01:03 IST

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Free-scoring Neymar hit a brace as Barcelona beat Villarreal 2-1 to move three points clear at the top of La Liga.

Brazil forward Neymar, who got a treble in a 6-1 Champions League win over Celtic in midweek, scored with a first-half penalty and then put Barca back in front late on after Mateo Musacchio headed the visitors level early in the second period.

The Catalan side are now on 43 points, three more than Atletico Madrid who host Valencia on Sunday, and five in front of rivals Real Madrid.

Barca coach Gerardo Martino was happy with the performance. "This performance has made me the happiest yet as it follows on from the good performances against Cartagena (4-1 win in the King's Cup) and Celtic, and we were against a strong Villarreal side," he said.

"We are on a good run but I always think we are able to improve. It wasn't always easy for us and that's not a bad thing either as it is something that you can learn from.

"Villarreal knew how to wait and attack the spaces while later in the game they were able to pressure us.

"Winning like that gives confidence to the players and it's only a shame that the (Christmas) break is coming up."

Puyol considering retirement: Report
Barcelona captain Carles Puyol is considering an end to his illustrious playing career due to on-going fitness problems, Catalan sports daily Mundo Deportivo reported on Sunday.

The 35-year-old has been dogged by injury over the last couple of seasons and returned to action following two knee operations in October. However, he has only featured four times in the last three months and has been usurped by 22-year-old Marc Bartra in coach Gerardo Martino's pecking order.