Barcelona continued their perfect start to the La Liga season with a dominant 6-1 win at Camp Nou against Eibar. The Blaugrana did their job well and avoided any trouble, with Lionel Messi and Nélson Semedo once again the standout performers on the night. Barça have now won five straight league matches to begin the campaign, which could have a huge impact on the title race later.
Eibar had a chance just three minutes in when Sergi Enrich was put through on goal but shot straight at Marc-André ter Stegen, and that was about the only thing the visitors did to endanger the Blaugrana. Eibar tried to press high up the pitch to force mistakes close to Ter Stegen’s goal, but the Blaugrana were very good with their buildup to get out of the press.
For the rest of the half, Barça were in complete control of possession and territory, but they weren’t ruthless enough to create a great number of chances, though Gerard Deulofeu and Nélson Semedo were tormenting Eibar on the right side and giving Lionel Messi a few chances to test the Eibar goalkeeper.
Soon enough, the Catalan giants got their goals through that side of the pitch. First, Semedo won a penalty inside the box thanks to his insane pace, and Messi calmly scored the spot kick. A few minutes later, another very good combination between Semedo, Deulofeu and Messi won Barça a corner, and Paulinho scored his second goal in two games with a bullet header.
At halftime, Barça had a comfortable lead and looked set for another easy win. They just needed to finish the job in the second half.
Barça came out of the interval looking to attack, get a third goal early and not give Eibar any hopes, and the plan worked. A dummy from Paulinho set Messi free on the counter, and after Leo’s shot was saved by Dmitrovic the ball fell to Denis Suarez, who calmly finished past the goalie and made it 3-0 to the Blaugrana.
With the win wrapped up and 35 minutes still to play in the second half, Barça naturally dropped their intensity and Eibar took advantage, with Sergi Enrich scoring a very nice goal to keep the game interesting. It didn’t take long for Barça to make sure the game would not be interesting, though, with Messi scoring the second of the game just two minutes after Enrich’s goal.
Messi was hungry for goals and completed his hat-trick after an assist from Paulinho before adding a fourth thanks to an assist from substitute Aleix Vidal. It’s now five wins in a row for the La Liga leaders and Barça look really, really, really good.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Mascherano, Digne; Paulinho, Busquets (Rakitic), Iniesta (Roberto); Deulofeu (Vidal), Messi, Denis
Goals: Messi (20’, 59’, 62’, 87’), Paulinho (38’), Denis (53’)
Eibar: Dmitrovic; Arbilla, Oliveira, Gálvez, Juncà; Escalante, Dani García (Rivera), Jordán; Capa (Peña), Enrich (Charles), Inui
Goal: Sergi Enrich (57’)