Sevilla beat Villarreal 2-0 at the Sanchez-Pizjuan earlier in the evening, leapfrogging their opponents in the process and paving the way for the Blaugrana to prove their comeback isn’t simply another false dawn.
If you filled the Camp Nou with every resident of Eibar, there'd still be 72,000 seats left over. Madness what they're doing in this game.
— Euan McTear (@emctear) December 29, 2020
They couldn’t. Eibar were good value for their point, drawing 1-1 against a Lionel Messi-less Barcelona, with the Argentine sitting in the stands due to a knee injury.
“We had to create a thousand chances to score a goal and they had one clear one that they score from,” he said. “It’s very difficult to come back from that.”
“It always affects you when the rival takes the lead, but the players that are here are here for a reason and it shouldn’t affect us. We’ve gone for the game.
“It’s a trend of the season – the games are difficult and uphill. But there’s a long season left and we’ll try to turn this around. We want to win every game.”
Despite the collective disappointment, Firpo was pleased with his own performance and the act of being out on the pitch again.
“I felt good,” he said. “The spark of not playing that often is noticeable, but I always train to the maximum. When I get opportunities I try to take advantage of them.”
The hosts could have taken the lead inside the first ten minutes. Ronald Araujo was deemed to have been fouled in the box after a lengthly VAR review, with the referee awarding a penalty that Martin Braithwaite went on to miss, pulling wide left.
Shortly before the hour mark, Eibar struck first blood. Araujo, a very able performer for the Blaugrana so far this season, made an uncharacteristic error to allow Kike Garcia to pounce and coolly finish to send the Basques 1-0 up.
Barcelona equalised in the 67th minute. Firpo, who did well to assist Braithwaite earlier in the evening only for the Dane’s effort to be ruled offside, repeated the trick with an accurate centre for Ousmane Dembele, a half-time substitute, to finish accurately.