Sport

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez Combine For Glorious Barcelona Opener At Eibar

Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez Combine For Glorious Barcelona Opener At Eibar

Their task became far easier three minutes afterwards without them having to lift a finger, as Orellana picked up a second yellow card for dissent.

Barca travel to Chelsea in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday, while Eibar visit fellow top-half chasers Celta Vigo next weekend.

The past two weekends have seen FC Barcelona cede four points in the battle for the Liga Santander title and in matchday 24 the Catalans face one of their most hard away games between now and the end of the campaign.

"But [the Eibar] game is an important one as well".

The first chance after the interval came on the 55th minute when Diop's flicked pass played Orellana down the right flank and into space.

Without having to fit Neymar, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez into the same line-up, new Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has been able to set his side up in a 4-4-2 formation, no longer needing to make allowances for three ultra-attacking players.

Respite arrived courtesy of Suarez's well-taken 16th-minute goal, which was beautifully created by Lionel Messi's left boot. It was the Argentine's glorious ball which paved the way for Suarez's opener to temporarily flatten the Ipurua crowd.

The loss was only the second for Eibar in its last 13 matches.

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It would be remiss for the Catalan team to underestimate in-form Eibar, who this year's plucky underdogs that are vying for a place in Europe.

Can Atletico Madrid challenge Barcelona for the title come the end of the season?

Barca were looking to kill off the game early on in the second period, after Suarez met a delivery from Messi at the back-post, but he could only find the side-netting.

After a slow start, the Catalans quickly settled in their rhythm and the opening goal subsequently followed, which was converted by Luis Suarez after 16 minutes, 0-1. Five of those victories were 1-0, including each of the last two. Orellana then hit the bar with a fine strike.

Barcelona have two draws and two wins in their last four games, although in those four the half-time result has been a draw.

Dani Parejo hit the victor with five minutes remaining when he converted a penalty kick after Ignasi Miguel earned a direct red card for pulling down Rodrigo Moreno with only the goalie to beat.

Eibar did not give Barcelona a moment's rest in possession, especially in midfield, and forced the league leaders to look for long balls out of defence. The league looks wrapped up, while they're also through to the Copa del Rey final, where they face Sevilla in April.


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