Messi the playmaker at his brilliant best

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The Argentine dropped deep to assume a dual role in midfield and attack to help Barcelona claim a convincing win over Eibar.

Barcelona overcame a rough opening to secure a 4-0 win at Eibar in La Liga on Sunday.

Barca began to hit their stride, with our Head and Shoulders Super Player Lionel Messi usually the chief protagonist. He hurdled a lunging tackle from Lejeune to win a free-kick and force Yoel to push his bouncing strike to safety.

At the end of a wonderful 31st-minute move, Messi had a shot blocked but Denis Suarez was on hand to drill superbly into the bottom-left corner from 20 yards.

Neymar and Arda Turan saw close-range efforts blocked by Yoel, with Messi the provider on both occasions.

Messi predictably took centre stage five minutes into the second period as he drove forward from midfield and found Luis Suarez on the right.

Yoel darted out towards the Uruguay's curling ball to the far post but Messi was unruffled and slotted a half-volley nonchalantly home.

Luis Suarez then capitalised on a dreadful error from Florian Lejeune to make it 19 for the campaign.

Neymar has not been as prolific as his illustrious attacking colleagues this term but scored for the first time in LaLiga since October when Eibar were picked apart on the break in stoppage time.

Barca remain third in La Liga but are back to within two points of rivals Real Madrid at the summit and one behind Sevilla in second.

Head & Shoulders Lionel Messi GFX

"We have been looking to kick off a run of positive results and let's hope this is the start," Luis Enrique said afterwards. And he added: "Busquets' injury doesn't look as bad as we first thought."

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If that is true, it is good news for Barca, with some big games ahead in the coming weeks, including the Champions League last-16, first-leg clash away to Paris Saint-Germain on February 14.

Messi is almost always a guarantee in such fixtures, but Busquets is essential for Barca and even though Rakitic did well in the role of 'pivot' on Sunday.

Luis Enrique will be crossing his fingers that the Spain midfielder returns sooner rather than later.

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