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Barcelona go on four-goal romp in the rain

SPORTYOU SPORTYOU 06/03/2016 sportyou
Barcelona go on four-goal romp in the rain © Getty Images Barcelona go on four-goal romp in the rain

Everything continues the same for the top three, although the weekend turned out to be more positive for Barcelona than their immediate followers for the simple fact that there are now three fewer points in play, or one match fewer to be played. The top three all won with more or less comfortably although Atlético, in their visit to the Mestalla, had to sweat a little more than the other two to carry off the three points. Barcelona's romp to victory at Eibar has left the other two panting.

Driving rain accompanied the players as they shook hands with the referee before kick-off. A tiny ground, a fast pitch and an enthusiastic crowd. All the necessary ingredients for a stonking game with Eibar pressing and Barcelona having a rough time of it. Actually no. It was completely the other way around. Luis Enrique's side pressed from the opening minute until the half-hour mark. In that time, they moved the ball around at lightening speed, making it almost impossible for their hosts to intercept it.

In the middle of this downpour of good football came Munir's opener after he lost his marker and tapped in Luis Suárez's squared pass at the far post. It was only the seventh minute and Barcelona were making it look easy and showing who was boss. After that, Luis Suárez had several chances to increase the lead, but he somehow contrived to waste them. Arda Turan and Munir's presence in the starting XI in place of Iniesta and Neymar meant the visitors offered a different version of their habitual play as far as circulating the ball went and, above all, the way they pressured.

With such superiority but so many chances being missed, what often occurs in these situations did. The minnows started to gain confidence, especially given the slim lead the visitors had, and Eibar came close to levelling the contest on a couple of occasions. Escalante had the best chance but skewed his shot wide. And just as the hosts' attacks were increasing in intensity came a mistake in midfield. Messi picked up the ball in space and it was three-on-three. This inevitably spells danger when it is Barcelona involved. Luis Suárez and Munir both escaped their markers on the right and left respectively, but Messi opted for the solo move. He shuffled quickly to the left to get the ball on to his good foot and sent in a low shot into the bottom-right corner beyond the reach of Riesgo, whose grimace as he picked the ball out of the net said it all.

With that, half time came. In the second half, Barcelona were concerned with controlling the game and avoiding any upsets, but kept their eyes on the opponents' goal all the while. The pace of the game dropped, as did the pressure, but the reigning champions did not lose any accuracy. Messi made it brace for himself from the penalty spot after Ramis had handled in the area, and Luis Suárez rounded off the scoring with an individual move, one that included a nutmeg, for Barcelona to run out clear winners.

Eibar, 0; Barcelona, 4

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