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Messi posts unwanted record as Barcelona beat Eibar

3:17 AM SGT 18/2/18
Lionel Messi, Eibar vs Barcelona, La Liga, 17/18
The Argentine superstar has countless records to cherish but has hit post or bar more times than anyone else in a single La Liga season

Lionel Messi might be an expert when it comes to putting the ball in the net but the Barcelona superstar is also prolific when it comes to near misses.

Having set up Luis Suarez's opener in Saturday's 2-0 win at Eibar with a sumptuous pass, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner rattled the upright with shot before half-time.

It means Messi has now been denied by post or crossbar in La Liga 14 times this season, equalling a record he set himself in 2011-12.

The Argentina international is without a goal in his past three league outings but still has 20 in 24 top-flight appearances this term.

Messi was not the only one to match a record on Saturday as Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde equalled the mark set by Pep Guardiola at the Catalan club as they extended their unbeaten Liga run on Saturday at Eibar's expense. 

Goals from Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba saw Barca past the hosts in a 2-0 victory, although the table-toppers were made to work hard throughout by their opponents. 

That win puts the Blaugrana 10 points clear of second-placed Atletico, who will have the chance to restore the gap to seven on Sunday away to Athletic. 

It also means that Barcelona are now 31 games unbeaten in the top flight, a mark they have achieved just once before in their history. 

One must look back to 2011 to find the last time the club achieved such a feat, under the stewardship of Guardiola. 

That season saw Guardiola lift both the Liga and Champions League titles, missing out on the treble due to Copa del Rey final defeat at the hands of Real Madrid

The current Blaugrana side, who have won 26 and drawn five of their last 31 outings (seven under Luis Enrique) are also fighting on three fronts. 

And, if they keep up their winning ways, La Liga at least looks almost certain to return to Catalunya for the third time in the last four seasons.