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FC Barcelona News: 15 March 2015; Barcelona Extend La Liga Lead, Xavi Reaches Appearance Milestone

Juan Manuel Serrano Arce/Getty Images

SD Eibar - FC Barcelona: Messi brace maintains Liga lead (0-2) | FC Barcelona
On a rainy evening in the Basque Country, Barça did what they had to do and will go into next week’s Clásico as league leaders. Eibar proved to be a highly resilient opponent, but two goals from Leo Messi were enough to secure three crucial points.

Xavi Hernández sets new record for FC Barcelona | FC Barcelona
On 18 August 1998, a promising young midfielder made his first ever appearance for FC Barcelona's first team. It was in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup against Mallorca at the Lluís Sitjar that Xavi Hernández was able to celebrate his debut with a fine goal. Seventeen years have passed since then and, in that time, he has set a club record of 750 appearances.

Effectiveness and dominance the keys for Luis Enrique | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona got the perfect result from their first ever visit to Eibar, a 2–0 win that keeps them top of the league table. Leo Messi got both goals against an Eibar side that defended pluckily. "It was a very special visit," said manager Luis Enrique afterwards. "It was our first ever trip to Ipurua, in a very special setting." He also discussed why he fielded Sergi Roberto as a defensive midfielder and the two huge games, looming on the horizon, against Manchester City and Real Madrid.

By the numbers: FC Barcelona's 2–0 victory at Eibar | FC Barcelona
Leo Messi was the star of the show for FC Barcelona in Saturday's 2–0 win over Eibar. Not only did Messi's two goals give Barça three huge points to provisionally extend their lead in La Liga, but they also came in his first visit to Ipurua, which became the 32nd different stadium in which he has scored. Let's take a look at some other interesting facts and figures surrounding the victory.

Sergi Roberto satisfied with his and team's performance | FC Barcelona
Sergi Roberto was one of the stars of the 2–0 win at Eibar after getting a rare chance to start a game, and in the position of defensive midfielder. Luis Enrique described Roberto's performance as "spectacular" and lamented not being able to use the player more.

Huge week ahead: Manchester City and Real Madrid | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona have a real red-letter week ahead of them. Manchester City will be at the Camp Nou on Wednesday at 8.45pm* for the return leg of the UEFA Champions League last 16. The first leg ended in a 2-1 win for the Catalans at the Eithad Stadium.

FC Barcelona get right back to work, focused on Manchester City | FC Barcelona
There's no time to rest. Just hours after arriving back in Barcelona following Saturday's 2–0 win at Eibar, FC Barcelona commenced preparations for what promises to be a pivotal week. Luis Enrique's squad trained while squarely focused on Wednesday's clash with Manchester City at Camp Nou in the return leg of their UEFA Champions League last-16 tie. The Catalans will begin the match, set for 8.45pm CET, with a 2–1 advantage from the first leg.

Schalke confirms Sami Khedira talks -
Schalke chairman Clemens Tonnies has confirmed that the club has held talks with Real Madrid ace Sami Khedira. The 27-year-old has suffered a number of injury problems this season and is thought not to feature in Carlo Ancelotti's plans for the future.

Miranda sent off in stalemate | Sky Sports Football
Atletico Madrid were unable to reclaim fourth place in La Liga after being held to a goalless draw at Espanyol, although Diego Simeone's side played the entire second half with 10 men. Atletico were the better side even after defender Miranda was shown a straight red card for an elbow and they were only denied a late winner by some fine goalkeeping by Kiko Casilla.

Celta Vigo 1-2 Athletic Bilbao - ESPN FC
San Jose put the visitors two up in the 32nd minute, adding to Aritz Aduriz's penalty, before picking up a second yellow card five minutes from time. Celta had already halved the deficit by then thanks to Joaquin Larrivey's close-range header midway through the second half, but they could not capitalise on their numerical advantage late on.

Jemez hails record-breaker Bueno | Football Espana
Paco Jemez paid tribute to Alberto Bueno after the striker became Rayo Vallecano’s all-time top goalscorer in La Liga against Granada on Saturday. The Real Madrid youth product netted his 15th League strike of the season during Los Vallecanos’ 3-1 victory over the Andalucians in Week 27, thus bringing his top-flight tally with the club up to 26.

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