Teenager Yamal helps Barcelona fight back at Villarreal


Teenage sensation Lamine Yamal has helped Barcelona fight back to win a 4-3 La Liga thriller at Villarreal.

The 16-year-old forward set up Gavi Paez's opening goal for Barcelona, hit the woodwork twice and played a key role in Robert Lewandowski's winner in a breathless encounter.

"Lamine had another great game," Barca coach Xavi Hernandez said.

"He helped us a lot, created tons of chances, and provided two assists.

"I was scared when (I started playing) but we have complete faith in our young players."

After he caught Xavi's eye while playing for the club's youth sides, Yamal in April became the youngest player to appear for Barcelona - aged 15 years, nine months and 16 days.

Last weekend he became the youngest Barca starter, as they beat Cadiz 2-0.

"I don't get too scared, I just go out there and play football, which I love to do," Yamal said after his performance at Villarreal.

"I am trying to make the most of the chances our coach gives me."

The teenager delivered the cross for Gavi to head home at the far post and kick off Sunday's scoring fest in the 12th minute, before Frenkie de Jong doubled the lead three minutes later.

Villarreal roared back to level through goals from Juan Foyth and Alexander Sorloth before Baena curled in a shot to put the hosts in front.

But Yamal helped Barcelona dig in for the win that leaves them two points behind leaders Real Madrid.

After substitute Ferran Torres converted his own rebound to level the scores, Yamal dribbled past his marker and unleashed a low shot that goalkeeper Filip Jorgensen did well to push onto the post.

The rebound fell to Lewandowski, who slotted home to make it 4-3 to the visitors.

"It was a crazy game and that was partly our fault," Xavi said.

"But once they went ahead 3-2, we played our best and generated lots of scoring chances. We could have scored even more."

Nico Williams earned two penalties that were converted by Mikel Vesga to help Athletic Bilbao erase an early two-goal deficit and beat Real Betis 4-2 at home.

Gorka Guruzeta put Athletic ahead 3-2 in first-half stoppage time before Unai Gomez added a fourth near the end of the match.

Willian Jose and Isco had given Betis a two-goal lead after just 10 minutes.

Nacho Vidal's acrobatic stoppage-time goal gave Osasuna a dramatic 2-1 win at previously unbeaten Valencia.