Unbeaten La Liga leaders Barcelona are back to winning ways thanks to a 2-0 victory over Eibar at the Ipurua Stadium on Saturday. The Blaugrana played an efficient game and scored the goals in key moments to get the win and stay well ahead of the chasing pack.
It’s safe to say Barça were brutally efficient in the first half, which means thye just didn’t play well at all but took advantage of the only real scoring chance they had. After absorbing a lot of pressure from a really good Eibar side who passed the ball well in the attacking half, Barça struck quickly when Luis Suárez was put through on goal and rounded the keeper to get the opener.
Marc-André ter Stegen had to work hard in the first half and make quite a few good saves, keeping Barça ahead in the game and helping the rest of the defense take a hard-earned one-goal lead at halftime. But Barça needed to improve in the second half, because Eibar were ready to pounce.
The second half was not really that different from the first, but Barça did a better job of limiting Eibar’s chances to long distance efforts that did not really bother Ter Stegen and his buddies. Fabián Orellana being sent off also hurt Eibar’s chances of getting an equalizer, but the fact that Barça couldn’t score a second to kill the game gave the hosts a little bit of hope.
Until the 88th minute when Philippe Coutinho made a gorgeous switch to Aleix Vidal, who passed it to Lionel Messi inside the box; Messi wasn’t able to beat the keeper, but Jordi Alba was right behind Leo and was able to fire home the second and win the game.
This wasn’t a great performance by any means, but it’s clear that the players were thinking about Chelsea and they just wanted a good win to go into Tuesday with confidence. Job done.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Paulinho (Vidal), Busquets, Iniesta (Coutinho); Messi, Suárez
Goals: Suárez (16’), Alba (88’)
Eibar: Dmitrovic; Peña, Ramis (Lombán), Arbilla, Ángel; García, Diop (Escalante); Orellana, Jordán, Inui; Kike