CAMP NOU, Barcelona—Neymar had been having a poor game, probably the worst of his season to date. But when Barcelona got a penalty, Lionel Messi allowed the Brazilian to take the ball.
It was an unselfish move from the Barcelona superstar, who usually manages dead-ball situations by himself, especially those from 12 yards.
Despite Messi's generosity, it didn't work out well for Barcelona, with an abject spot-kick easily pushed away by Sergio Asenjo.
But Barcelona are a side built on teamwork and have been for years, even if that teamwork is now more about the collaborations between the front three than the men in the middle.
Not that the other players don't create a formidable backing for the strikers.
Javier Mascherano was a sheepdog, harrying the Villarreal midfield to get the ball back, while the sheer size of Gerard Pique and Jeremy Mathieu made you feel sorry for little Luciano Vietto.
But the man who netted his 34th goal of yet another splendid season to open the scoring was also the key to Barcelona's 3-1 victory over Villarreal in the Copa del Rey semi-final.
Yes, it was Messi who found the net again, keeping a cool head to fire past Asenjo from Luis Suarez's cutback.
He had spent the first 40 minutes of the game patiently sand-wedging balls into the box from the right, where he plays to accommodate Suarez as the central striker.
Each of Messi's chipped passes caused danger in the box, although they didn't eventually lead to a goal.
Villarreal fell on their own sword somewhat, as Tomas Pina's poor pass put Mateo Musacchio in trouble, but the defender let himself down by falling meekly under Suarez's challenge.
The former Liverpool star was extremely unselfish, despite what would have been a huge urge to shoot, and set up Messi for the opener.
Messi's celebration was unselfish, too, as he jumped into Suarez's arms to show the fans who deserved the credit.
Suarez, who was having one of his best games in a Barcelona shirt, was part of the second goal, too.
He tried to play a one-two with Andres Iniesta but tumbled under Mario's challenge in the box. It made no difference, though, as the midfielder was there anyway to fire Barcelona back in front after Manu Trigueros had equalised.
This wasn't one of Messi's star performances, but his unselfishness and willingness to create openings for his team-mates were the keys to Barcelona's victory.
If even a star player will go the extra mile for you, then you will do the same for him.
As Luis Enrique has been saying for weeks, he doesn't mind if Suarez isn't scoring goals as long as he's playing well and keeping the team in mind.
Messi did that on Wednesday, and Barcelona are now on the verge of a Copa del Rey final.
For the Yellow Submarine to deny them, they must now score three times at El Madrigal against Barcelona, assuming the Catalans notch at least one.
Even if Marc-Andre ter Stegen is feeling as generous as he was here, that's a big ask, particularly when Messi is in this form and Suarez seems to have sorted himself out.
Neymar wasn't at the races in this game; if the Copa del Rey is going to be dressed in any colours other than Blaugrana, Villarreal, Athletic Bilbao and Espanyol will need that to happen again, with Messi and Suarez matching his poor form for good measure.