NEWS
Saturday February 17 2018
Suarez and Alba give Barca win at Eibar

Goals by Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba give Barcelona a 2-0 win against a spirited Eibar at Ipurua.

The hosts can consider themselves unfortunate, having enjoyed plenty of pressure and chances - but ultimately Barca's superior quality, as well as a red card for Fabian Orellana, proved dividends.

A moment of high quality saw Lionel Messi play an inch-perfect through ball for Uruguayan Suarez, who coolly rounded Marko Dmitrovic before slotting home to open the scoring in the first-half.

The setback was harsh on Eibar, who caused problems for their illustrious opponents throughout the opening stages and had early opportunities through Jose Angel and Orellana.

But against the run of play Messi escaped attention in midfield before threading a perfectly weighted pass to Suarez, who confidently notched his 17th goal of the season.

The lively Orellana almost instantly responded for Eibar, but his 25-yard strike hit the bar with Marc-Andre Ter Stegen beaten all ends up. 

The visitors looked a little more, though never entirely, comfortable as the first half wore on and could have doubled their lead eight minutes before the break.

Suarez once again rounded Dmitrovic before playing the ball back to Messi, but the Argentine's curling effort cannoned back off the post.

The second period began in a slightly less frantic manner than the opening half, with Barca enjoying greater control of proceedings.

More excellent work by Messi saw the Argentine cut inside and lay the ball across to Suarez, but the former Liverpool man blazed over the bar.

At the other end, Takashi Inui ought to have done better when Orellana squared the ball on the edge of the area, but the Japanese skewed a shot wide.

It proved to be Orellana’s final contribution to his side’s cause as he was sent off minutes later.

After Pape Diop was booked for an elbow on Sergio Busquets, the Chilean punched the ball away in frustration – with referee Alejandro Hernandez promptly issuing a second yellow card.

Moments later, Eibar Coach Jose Mendilibar was also given his marching orders after being incensed that Suarez was not booked for kicking the ball away after being flagged for offside.

Orellana’s dismissal proved a turning point as Eibar did not threaten much from thereon in. Dmitrov saved expertly from Messi and Aleix Vidal before Barca killed the game off with two minutes remaining.

Substitute Vidal fed the ball across to Messi, who was once again denied by the Serbian keeper. However, Jordi Alba was on hand to tuck in the rebound and send his side 10 points clear of Atletico Madrid at the top of the table.

Eibar: Dmitrovic, Peña, Ramis [Lomban 46], Arbilla, Jose Angel, Dani Garcia, Pape Diop [Escalante 74], Orellana, Jordan [Charles 83], Inui, Kike

Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Sergi Roberto [Semedo 90], Pique, Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Paulinho [Vidal 74], Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta [Coutinho 63], Messi, Suarez

Football Italia website