Luis Suarez had the Barcelona fans chanting his name after he set up Lionel Messi to score the opening goal in a 3-1 victory for the record winners in their King's Cup semi-final, first leg at home to Villarreal.

Uruguay forward Suarez won possession in the Villarreal half in the 41st minute at the Nou Camp before laying a perfect pass into Messi's path for the Argentina captain to sweep a first-time shot.

Villarreal levelled three minutes into the second period after home keeper Marc Andre Ter Stegen let a long range Manuel Trigueros shot straight through his hands.

Andres Iniesta put Barca back in front a minute later and Gerard Pique made it 3-1 in the 64th minute with a header from a Messi corner.

Messi would normally have taken the spot-kick when Barca were awarded a penalty for a Mateo Musacchio handball in the 70th minute but after he stepped aside to allow Neymar a chance the Brazil captain had his effort well saved by Asenjo.

Barca's 10th consecutive win in all competitions put them in a strong position to advance to May's final after the return at the Madrigal in three weeks.

Athletic Bilbao, whose 23 Cup triumphs are only bettered by Barca's 26, host 2006 winners Espanyol in the other semi-final, first leg later on Wednesday.

Source: Reuters