Real Madrid rallies from two goals down to draw Osasuna 2-2 on the road
But Madrid slips five points behind Barcelona, which later beat Villarreal
Bayern Munich rebounds from a loss in the Champions League, downing Hamburg
Borussia Dortmund dropped more points by only drawing Hoffenheim 2-2
It has been a good week for Barcelona’s Neymar.
He netted a hat-trick against Celtic in the Champions League and got both goals Saturday as Barcelona – still without Lionel Messi – beat Villarreal 2-1 to move three points clear of idle Atletico Madrid and five clear of arch-rival Real Madrid in Spain.
Neymar, who will be counted on by Brazil at next year’s World Cup on home soil, opened the scoring at the Camp Nou from the penalty spot in the 30th minute and tapped home the close-range winner in the 69th against the Yellow Submarine.
He was teed up by Pedro, who latched on to Cesc Fabregas’ sumptuous chipped ball.
Villarreal, promoted last season, stunned the locals when it leveled in the 48th minute through Mateo Musacchio’s header from a corner.
Having clawed to within three points of Barcelona, Real Madrid earlier slipped up when it drew 2-2 at Osasuna.
Yet it could have been worse for Los Blancos, who had defender Sergio Ramos sent off for two bookable offenses before halftime and trailed 2-0.
With blockbuster summer signing Gareth Bale substituted in the second half and Cristiano Ronaldo held in check – he failed to score for the first time since the end of October – Isco began the Real comeback in first-half injury time.
Pepe headed home the equalizer in the 80th minute seconds after Francisco Silva’s red card for the host.
“The first 20 minutes were very good and it is incredible that we went 2-0 down and had 10 men,” Real Madrid manager Carlo Ancelotti told reporters. “We responded well but we suffered a lot.
“We were showing quality and rhythm and we lost control after the first goal but we did show character and the right attitude to battle back.”
Atletico Madrid will move level on points with Barcelona if it beats Valencia at home Sunday.
Bayern increases lead
Bayern Munich’s 18-match winning streak at home ended in midweek when it was upset by Manchester City in the Champions League but Bayern bounced back by beating Hamburg 3-1 at the Allianz Arena on Saturday.
Mario Mandzukic, Mario Gotze and Xherdan Shaqiri accounted for the Bayern goals, although manager Pep Guardiola wasn’t fully satisfied with the performance ahead of the Club World Cup in Morocco.
“The players had perhaps their holidays and Morocco in their heads,” said Guardiola.
“We had a few problems in the second half, like we did against Manchester. We simply gave away too many balls. We have good players, but we have to stop such things happening.”
Bayern, which will conclude 2013 unbeaten in the Bundesliga, went seven points ahead of Bayer Leverkusen – which plays fourth-last Frankfurt on Sunday – and 12 ahead of Borussia Dortmund.
A late goal against Marseille ensured Dortmund’s progress to the second round of the Champions League but challenging Bayern in Germany now looks unlikely after a 2-2 draw at Hoffenheim.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Lukasz Piszczek rescued a point for injury-hit Dortmund, which trailed 2-0 within 40 minutes.
Nurnberg remains the lone side in the division without a victory after it blew a three-goal lead and drew 3-3 at Hannover 96.
In France, the big two of Paris Saint-Germain and Monaco both registered two-goal victories on the road – over Rennes and Guingamp, respectively. Paris Saint-Germain leads Monaco by two points atop the table.
Bayern’s semifinal opponent at the Club World Cup on Tuesday will be Asian champion Guangzhou Evergrande, which beat Egypt’s Al Ahly 2-0.
“We will now play against one of the best teams in the world,” said Guangzhou manager Marcello Lippi.
“You can lose 99 times every 100 times you play them, but you could win one. You never know.”