The Brazilian scored twice after half-time – including a spectacular third – and Luis Suarez was also on the score sheet as Luis Enrique’s side recorded a comfortable home win
Neymar and Luis Suarez made light of Lionel Messi’s absence once again by inspiring Barcelona to a 3-0 win over Villarreal with three second-half goals.
Usually the supporting cast to the Argentine in the Barca front three, Neymar and Suarez have been in irresistible form since Messi picked up a knee injury last month.
And the deadly duo were at it again at Camp Nou on Sunday, scoring once each before Neymar grabbed a spectacular third to move Luis Enrique’s side at least temporarily three points clear of Real Madrid.
Their title rivals face Sevilla away from home on Sunday evening.
Only Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid had conceded fewer league goals this season than Villarreal prior to kick-off, and Marcelino’s men showed plenty of gritty defensive organisation in the first half to keep Barca at bay.