Spanish La Liga
EibarEibar0BarcelonaBarcelona2

Eibar 0-2 Barcelona

Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has scored 43 goals in all competitions for Barcelona this season

Lionel Messi scored twice to take his season's goal total to 43 as Barcelona beat Eibar comfortably to open up a four-point lead at the top of La Liga.

Messi converted a 31st-minute penalty for Luis Enrique's side, who face Manchester City in the Champions League on Wednesday.

The Argentina forward headed in Ivan Rakitic's corner after half-time.

Federico Piovaccari hit the bar late on for Eibar, who are slipping towards danger after eight straight defeats.

Gaizka Garitano's side, three points above the bottom three, face a crucial trip to relegation rivals Granada next weekend.

Granada missed the chance to climb out of the relegation zone on Saturday as they were beaten 3-1 at Rayo Vallecano.

For Barcelona, this was just about as straightforward a victory as they could have hoped for ahead of two key home matches.

Enrique's side hold a 2-1 lead going into their last-16 second leg meeting with City, after which they will host second-placed Real Madrid in La Liga next weekend.

Real can reduce the gap at the top to one point by beating struggling Levante at the Bernabeu on Sunday.

Barcelona's boss rested centre-back Jeremy Mathieu and midfielder Javier Mascherano - probably with one eye on the Madrid game, as both are one booking away from a domestic suspension.

After a cagey opening half-hour, the visitors took the lead when Borja Ekiza was ruled to have handled deliberately in blocking a shot from Messi, who thumped the resulting penalty into the corner.

Eibar made a superb start to their first season in Spain's top flight after two successive promotions.

But they have lost momentum over the last two months and struggled to hit back here, with midfielder Javi Lara wastefully dragging a shot wide.

Only a smart block by Eibar keeper Jaime Jimenez stopped Neymar adding a goal from Messi's through ball early in the second half.

The Argentine soon eluded the home defence to head his 32nd league goal of the season from Rakitic's corner.

Substitute Piovaccari should have pulled a goal back for Eibar with two minutes to go, but bounced the ball against the underside of the bar from eight yards after driving his shot too hard into the ground.

Line-ups

Eibar

  • 25Jiménez Merlo
  • 2Bóveda
  • 5EkizaBooked at 30mins
  • 22Rodríguez Navas
  • 16Castellano Castro
  • 17Vilá RosellóSubstituted forBoatengat 77'minutes
  • 8ErrastiSubstituted forCapaat 58'minutes
  • 12Fernández Fernández
  • 23Lara Grande
  • 21Berjón Pérez
  • 20Del Moral FernandezSubstituted forPiovaccariat 69'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Iruretagoiena Aranzamendi
  • 4Añibarro
  • 7Capa
  • 10Arruabarrena
  • 15Lekic
  • 18Boateng
  • 19Piovaccari

Barcelona

  • 13Bravo
  • 2Montoya
  • 3Piqué
  • 15Bartra
  • 21Correia
  • 12Rafinha
  • 20Roberto Carnicer
  • 4RakiticSubstituted forHernándezat 62'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 9Suárez
  • 11NeymarSubstituted forPedroat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 6Hernández
  • 7Pedro
  • 8Iniesta
  • 14Mascherano
  • 16Pereira dos Santos
  • 24Mathieu
Referee:
Carlos del Cerro Grande
Attendance:
5,439

Match Stats

Home TeamEibarAway TeamBarcelona
Possession
Home30%
Away70%
Shots
Home13
Away12
Shots on Target
Home2
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away3

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Eibar 0, Barcelona 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Eibar 0, Barcelona 2.

  3. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Xavi (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Luis Suárez.

  4. Post update

    Corner, Eibar. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

  5. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Eneko Bóveda (Eibar) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Javi Lara.

  6. Post update

    Federico Piovaccari (Eibar) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Saúl with a cross following a fast break.

  7. Post update

    Attempt saved. Pedro (Barcelona) left footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

  8. Post update

    Xavi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Derek Boateng (Eibar).

  10. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Javi Lara (Eibar) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Derek Boateng.

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Rafinha (Barcelona) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Pedro with a cross.

  12. Post update

    Luis Suárez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Raúl Navas (Eibar).

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Raúl Navas (Eibar) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Derek Boateng.

  15. Post update

    Foul by Martín Montoya (Barcelona).

  16. Post update

    Lillo (Eibar) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Eibar. Derek Boateng replaces Dídac Vilá.

  18. Post update

    Attempt saved. Ander Capa (Eibar) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

  19. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Saúl (Eibar) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Javi Lara with a cross.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Eibar. Conceded by Gerard Piqué.

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 14th March 2015

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