Eibar - Barcelona: LaLiga week 19 live online, Sunday 22/01/2017
Lionel Messi was the man of the moment as he toyed with Eibar's defence with a series of excellent through balls, a well-taken goal and a controlling performance at the Ipurua on Sunday night.
Eibar 0-4 Barcelona: Full time report
Eibar started the game with the best of intentions as they hassled and harried their opponents at every turn. As soon as Barcelona adjusted to their tactics, they were comfortably the better team. A masterclass of passing from Messi resulted in several clear cut chances and Luis Suárez was the beneficiary of those passes on a number of occasions without being able to finish. Denis Suárez came on early in the first half after an injury to Sergio Busquets and opened the scoring with a smooth finish, driving low and hard beyonf Yoel from outside the box.
The second half started in the same vein and Barcelona had a second after five minutes of the restart, Messi starting and finishing a move that saw him pass the ball beyond Yoel despite being under pressure by the goalkeeper. Luis Suárez made it three twenty minutes later and the game, at that stage, was beyond saving for Eibar. The hosts tried hard to grab a consolation but a combination of poor finishing, good defending and a dubious offside for an Adrian finish prevented them from doing so.
Neymar put the cherry on the cake with an injury time finish and while Eibar might feel like they didn't deserve to lose by a four goal margin, they were outplayed for most of the game and against a team as clinical as Barcelona, going behind and then giving up 12 chances does not bode well as you try to get something from the game.
Eibar 0-4 Barcelona: Second half
GOAL! Neymar finishes coolly in injury time. He had all the time in the world.
Min 90 | Barcelona continue to commit men forward, and Eibar continue to break but they can not score. Escalante with the most recent miss as he drives over Ter Stegen's goals. Replays show Ter Stegen got a touch but the referee says goal kick and the linesman agrees.
Min 88 | Neymar with a lovely touch to put the ball between him and the goal but he can't turn quick enough and he is tackled by Dos Santos.
Min 86 | If it stays the way it is, Eibar will have played Barça five times, conceded 15 times and scored just once.
Min 84 | Sergi Enrich with a wonderful effort that nearly beats Ter Stegen. The rebound falls to Pedro Leon but it's at an awkward angle and he can't find the target. So close from Enrich and it is the least he would deserve, to his credit.
Eibar substitution - Rivera comes on in place of Luna.
Min 81 | Enrich uses his strength to make his way through Mathieu and Alba but his shot is blocked again. He has worked hard tonight and been Eibar's only real hope of a goal but he looks exhausted.
Min 79 | Rakitic has a shot that Yoel saves.
Eibar substitution - Inui is replaced by Ruben Jimenez Pena.
Min 77 | Enrich sneaks ahead of Mathieu, controls it with his chest but has his shot blocked by Umtiti. Corner to Eibar.
Barcelona substitution - Paco Alcacer comes on for Luis Suárez.
75 Min Update - Eibar's looked for an early goal at the start and could not manage to find it. After conceding the first, it was always going to be a real struggle. They have been undone now on a number of occasions and have been second best almost all night. Their inability to create chances is one thing but Barça's excellence can not be discounted. Long way back for Eibar now with little sign of it happening.
Eibar substitution - Adrian Gonzalez is replaced by Fran Rico.
Min 73 | Neymar still searching for a goal to make it a clean sweep for MSN but his run is ill-timed and ruled offside as Messi tries to find him in behind.
Min 72 | Messi at it again with a poked through ball to Suárez that would beat even the best offside traps in the world. Suárez can't find Neymar with the cross though and Yoel manages to tip it over.
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Luis Suárez with the finish as he breaks free and slots home beyond Yoel. Lejeune messing around with it at the back and the Uruguyuan steals the ball. It goes without but you can't give Suárez a reason to press you! GET RID! Lovely finish though.
Min 67 | Capa forces a save out of Ter Stegen as the balls makes its way by everyone and almost into the back of Barça's net.
Barcelona substitution - Aleix Vidal comes on in place of Sergi Roberto.
Min 64 | Inui runs into trouble down the line as the ball leaves the field. He appeals for a corner but the referee points for a goalkick.
Min 62 | Arda puts Neymar in down the left but his pullback to Messi is intercepted as Eibar look to build an attack.
60 Minute Update - Eibar have struggled to start the second half well and Messi's goal, Barça's second, might have put this out of their reach. The home side are not pressing with as much vigour as they were at the start and seem to have run out of ideas up front. the further they push up the field, the more Barça look like nabbing a third and, most likely, a dagger through Eibar hearts.
Min 59 | Messi with another through ball and Suárez is free only for Yoel to rush off his line and clear. Not before Suárez catches him on the foot, as the goalkeeper limps away from the scene.
Min 56 | Hand ball by Garcia as Neymar tries to flick it over him Eibar running out of ideas fast here and need to respond soon.
Min 55 | Eibar work it well until the finish as Ander Capa does not continue his run and gets his wires crosses with Garcia. Goal kick Barça.
Min 52 | Eibar have it in the back of the net after a lovely move. Adrian Gonzalez with the headed finish but he was adjudged to have been offside and it won't stand. replay suggests it was marginal!
GOAL! GOAL! GOAL! Messi passes to Luis Suárez, who crosses it back inside to the waiting Argentine and he finished with the greatest of ease. What a finish that was...
Min 48 | Relatively slow start to this secod half. An early chance for Eibar is all we have to report so far. Barcelona throwing the ball around now with ease.
Min 46 | Jose Sanchez, who handed out no less than four yellow cards in the first half, breaks out the whistle again and gets us underway for the second half!
No changes for either side at the half
Eibar 0-1 Barcelona: First half summary
After a very promising start by Eibar and the injury to Sergio Busquets, optimism was aplenty for the home side. As soon as Barcelona adjusted to the game and what Eibar were doing, they took control of the game and could have three or four goals if it weren't for poor finishing, offsides and the post, more recently for Luis Suárez. There are few sentences that drum up as much fear in an opponent than that of: "Lionel Messi is in the mood tonight" and he most certainly is. He has created several excellent chances for his teammates without them being able to capitalise. Eibar will have to reassess their tactics in an effort to get back into this one because it is just a matter of time before Barça score again the way things are going.
Eibar 0-1 Barcelona: First half
Min 45+1 | Suarez breaks free and strikes low and beyond Yoel. It strikes the posts and bounces back into the gloves of Yoel. This is an excellent display from Barcelona in the last 15.
Min 45 | Messi, AGAIN, with a cross that drops just over the head of Lejeune and onto Turan's foot but there was an offside somewhere in the build-up.
Min 44 | Sergi Enrich the latest to go in the book for a foul on Neymar. Replays show that he got the ball but did go in over the top of it. He picks it up and shows the ref he got the ball but the yellow was already in his hand and Enrich's protests don't work.
Min 42 | Sergi Roberto to Messi, to Suarez, back to Messi and finally to Neymar to deliver the finish. He can't though as Yoel saves with his feet. Another lovely weighted pass by Messi. That would have been a contender for goal of the year.
Min 39 | Messi wore his shovel boots tonight as he scoops another one towards Alba. Capa is nearly caught out with the weird flight and bounce of the ball but he clears for a corner. The repertoire of passes that Lionel Messi can execute is mind-boggling.
Min 37 | Messi in a one-on-one with Luna as he turns the left-back but can't get any further as the Eibar reinforcements arrive to swarm the Argentine.
Min 35 | Sergi Enrich with an excellent chance as Capa swings a lethal cross into the box. Umtiti gets a touch to put the ball out for a corner and could have just as easily turned the ball into his own net.
Min 32 | Messi puts the ball on a plate to Neymar but the Brazilian was offside.
30 Minute Update - Eibar were on top for a long period but Barça slowly started to gain the upper hand. the visitors were being pressed and hassled by Eibar and it seemed to be paying off but Barça take the lead after half an hour and Eibar have their work cut out for them with an hour of football left to play.
GOAL! A Messi shot is blocked and falls to Denis Suárez and he strikes low and away from Yoel as it sneaks into the bottom corner. Great finish from the substitute.
Min 30 | Messi has a crack and it bounces in front of Yoel, who takes caution as he fists it away. Suárez picks up the rebound and crosses but Rakitic can't get his head around the ball as it goes out for a goal-kick.
Min 29 | Neymar's march up the field is halted by Lejeune and Barcelona are given a free that might be too far out for a shot. We shall see though.
Min 27 | Escalante, who has been at the heart of everything Eibar have done so far, recieves a yellow card for a foul on Neymar. He has been throwing himself around early doors and that card was probably due. (he was the one that went over the top of Busquets too.)
Min 25 | More pressure from the home side and this time Adrian's shot is to the right of Ter Stegen. It forces the German into a great save.
Min 25 | Enrich continues to test Barça's notoriously high defensive line. All he needs is one of those to work out.
Min 23 | Inui tries his luck this time but his swirling, rising shot is off target.
Min 22 | Escalante strikes low and too close to Ter Stegen. Good pressure from Eibar that time, poor touch by Jordi Alba were the reasons behind that chance.
Min 20 | Lionel Messi with a pass that only 0.01% of the population of the world can pull off as he scoops it over Eibar's defence to Luis Suarez. The Uruguyuan fires over though and knows how good a chance that was.
Min 18 | Pedro Leon tries to go by Jordi Alba but the Barcelona defender catches him and they get another free in an interesting position. Cleared by Barcelona.
Min 16 | Sergi Enrich playing off the shoulder of Barcelona's defender but he pushed his luck this time. He breaks free but was offside. The Eibar crowd are enjoying this one though.
15 Minute Update - Eibar really testing Barcelona's stomach for this one. Plenty of pressure to start has forced the visitors into some uncomfortable situations. Capa down the right has been particularly lively, as always. Barcleona have looked their usual bustling selves up front but no massive chances for either side yet.
Min 12 | Capa swings another cross into the box but it's too close to Ter Stegen this time.
Min 10 | The resulting free-kick by Messi goes high and over the bar.
Barcelona substitution - Denis Suarez replaces Busquets.
Min 8 | It looks like Busquets' race is run. He is stretchered off and looks very uncomfortable as he is wheeled down the tunnel.
Min 8 | Adrian goes in hard on Busquets, who gets a crooked ankle out of the deal. He is writihing in pain. There was a free given but it was for a foul just a few second later, and closer to the goal for a clumsy tackle on Neymar.
Min 7 | Long ball to Neymar, as he duly gives chase but it's too much for even the quickest of wide attackers. Capa did well to bodycheck him out of the way but Yoel was out of his goal to narrow Neymar's options even further.
Min 4 | Luis suarez with a spiffy new haircut - no bleach, no undercuts, just an old-fashioned, no-nonsense lowering of the ears. He wins a corner that comes to nothing.
Min 3 | Arda Turan catches Inui and Eibar have a free in an interesting position. Leon launches it goalward and it is headed out for a corner.
Min 2 | Pedro Leon intercepts a cross-field pass, passes to Ander Capa and he swings a dangerous cross into the box. There were a few Eibar players lining up for that one but it passes them all.
Min 1 | PEEP! We are underway at the Ipurua.
Eibar - Barcelona: team news
Eibar XI: Yoel, Escalante, Capa, Inui, Sergi Enrich, Dani Garcia, Dos Santos, Luna, Lejuene, Leon, Adrian.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Alba, Mathieu, Umtiti, Sergi Roberto, Busquets, Arda Turan, Rakitic, Neymar, Suarez, Messi.
Eibar - Barcelona: latest news
20:40 | Sevilla kept the pressure on Real Madrid earlier with a 4-3 win against Osasuna but the beaten team have lodged an official complaint against the referees for the game. It is up to Barcelona now to continue to pile the pressure on los Blancos. Eibar, on the other hand, could move up to 7th with a win and would then be on the same number of points as Athletic Bilbao. The will be looking to add to their 17 points at home this year.
20:31 | China have stepped up their spending this winter and Arda Turan is a player who has been mentioned as a possible arrival in the Super League. He has removed any doubt as to where he wants to play, however, but there might still remain a little doubt over Barcelona's desire to keep him if an offer falls on their laps.
20:16 | Pedro Leon is Eibar's top scorer with six but Sergi Enrich is just behind him on five and has been in excellent form recently. Can Barça keep him quiet with that centre-half pairing or will Enrique need to call on the services of Pique at some stage? You'd have to imagine the idea is to keep him off for the entire ninety to rest him.
21:12 | The two losses Eibar have picked up this season at home were to lowly Osasuna and Atletico Madrid. Not entirely sure what to make of that as a loss to Atletico is perfectly understandable. But Osasuna have only won once this season and that was at the Ipurua.
19:57 | Pique starts on the bench with Jeremy Mathieu standing in. Arda Turan has been chosen to replace Iniesta. They might be size 10s but they are very, very, very big boots to be filling!
19:06 | Barcelona and Eibar have played four times. Barcelona have beaten them four times, scoring 12 and conceding just one in those games. Not a great omen for tonight but Eibar have been quite strong at home this season, losing just twice in nine games.
18:54 | Leo Messi and Luis Suarez are two ahead of Ronaldo in the race for the Pichichi trophy. They are both on 14 with Ronaldo on 12. A good chance to nab one to further their lead tonight?
18:30 | There are likely to be plenty of grey clouds thronging over the narrow valley where Eibar nestles for kick-off this evening. Temperature of around 7 degrees and a fair chance of some light drizzle or txirimiri, as it's known in these parts.
16:15 | Barcelona have apparently been admiring Valencia youth product Carlos Soler - but they'll have to dig a little deeper now.
15:50 | With Lionel Messi yet to renew his contract at Barcelona, countryman Carlos Tévez gave his two cents' worth on the star's future yesterday.
14:30 | What does the AS Oracle predict for Eibar-Barcelona? Find out here.
12:20 | Ahead of this evening's clash, here's our oh-so useful guide on how and where to watch.
11:05 | Why not get yourself suitably prepped for the game with a shufties at our match preview below?
10:45 | Good morning one and all! We'll bring you all the latest right here in the run-up to tonight's LaLiga match-up between Eibar and Barcelona!
Eibar - Barcelona: match preview
Eibar host Barça this evening in what is the LaLiga champions' third trip to the Basque Country already since the turn of the year.
With leaders Real Madrid winning on Saturday, Luis Enrique's third-placed side know nothing less than victory will do to keep the pressure on at the top.
But history is very much with tonight's visitors to Ipurúa, having so far never failed to take all three points against Los Armeros in Primera División.
Eibar's entertaining 3-2 win over Sporting Gijón last weekend left them sitting in a highly creditable ninth - just five points off the Europa League places.
However, José Luis Mendilibar's team - who are missing five injury victims in Iván Ramis, Anaitz Arbilla, David Juncà, Asier Riesgo and Kike García - welcome Barça looking to bounce back from a comprehensive 3-0 midweek beating by Atlético Madrid in their Copa del Rey quarter-final first leg.
And Eibar's past meetings with Barça offer scant cause for optimism. Now in their third season in LaLiga, Eibar's record against the Catalans reads: played four, lost four, 12 goals conceded and only one scored.
While Eibar come into today's match-up licking their wounds from a Copa reverse, Barça return to Euskadi fresh from ending a 10-year victory hoodoo away to Real Sociedad.
Indeed, having begun 2017 with a defeat and a draw, that 1-0 win at Anoeta was their third triumph on the trot - albeit one that came at a price.
Andrés Iniesta misses out today with a soleus injury picked up in San Sebastián, with Luis Enrique (who is also without Rafinha Alcántara and the suspended Javier Mascherano) admitting he has "nobody" like his captain.
In Iniesta's absence, Ivan Rakitic is expected to come into the midfield alongside Sergio Busquets and André Gomes - the Croat's first league start since El Clásico in early December.
Eibar - Barcelona: possible line-ups
Eibar XI: Yoel, Capa, Mauro, Lejeune, Luna, Rico, García, Escalante, León, Enrich, Inui
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen, Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba, Rakitic, Busquets, Gomes, Messi, L. Suárez, Neymar