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Eibar v Barcelona Live Commentary, 17/02/2018

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L. Suárez (16)
Jordi Alba (88)
Estadio Municipal de Ipurúa


Barcelona return to winning ways and temporarily extend their lead at the top of LaLiga to 10 points. Suarez rounded Dmitrovic in the first half to put Barca in the lead against the run of play before Kike, Jordan and Orellana came close for Eibar. The home side continued to push Barcelona right until the end, despite going down to 10 men after Orellana's second yellow card for dissent. The Basque country side showed incredible determination and spirit but it was a bit of fortune in Barca's favour that allowed Jordi Alba to roll the ball into the empty net and secure the three points.
Messi has a chance for a third as Coutinho lays the ball off for him, but the Argentine's shot from the edge of the box is fired high over the bar.
Eibar continue to come forward but Escalante's long-range low effort swerves just wide of the left post.
The fourth official has indicated three minutes of additional time.
Nélson Semedo
Sergi Roberto
Substitution Sergi Roberto Carnicer Nélson Cabral Semedo
Jordi Alba
GOAL! Barcelona secure what have been a very hard fought three points. Coutinho switches play towards the right wing and Vidal fires a first-time volleyed pass into the path of Messi. Dmitrovic is once more quick off his line to block the shot but this time it falls kindly to Jordi Alba, who rolls the ball inside the near post. Game over.
STAT: Fabian Orellana has been sent off six times in LaLiga, three of which have been against Barcelona.
Vidal is in behind the Eibar defence and has the chance to seal the three points for Barca but once again the impressive Dmitrovic is quickly off his line to stop the danger.
Joan Jordán
Joan Jordán is replaced by Charles for Eibar's final change of the game.
Inui has another chance after a loose clearance falls to his feet on the edge of the six yard box. The angle is tight and he can only fire it into the legs of Pique.
Close! Barcelona get the first real attack for a while as Coutinho chips in a delightful pass behind the Eibar defence. Messi is onto it but Dmitrovic is quickly off his line to block the shot.
The home side are having a really good go at Barcelona despite being down to 10 men. The high pressure continues to force Barca to clear the ball away every time.
G. Escalante
P. Diop
Papa Diop is replaced by Gonzalo Escalante.
Aleix Vidal
Paulinho hasn't had the best of afternoons. He is replaced by Aleix Vidal.
Eibar have not given up hope of finding an equaliser here but Orellana's red card has certainly dented any hope of that happening. Barcelona are happy to slow down the play and invite the home side onto them. Just under 20 minutes left to play.
The Eibar manager is remonstrating with the fourth official as Suarez kicks the ball away from play after being found offside. He wants a booking for the Uruguayan but the referee is having none of it.
Fabián Orellana receives his second yellow card for dissent after he punches the ball away after Diop's yellow card. Huge blow for Eibar, needless frm Orellana.
P. Diop
Yellow Card
Papa Diop is booked for a foul around the halfway line.
Kike presses Pique into clearing for a corner. It is swung in from the left but Diop is unable to make clean contact with the header, allowing the Barca defence to clear.
Philippe Coutinho
Andrés Iniesta
Andrés Iniesta is replaced by Philippe Coutinho.
Angel looks to play Inui down the left wing but his pass is straight to the feet of Pique. Eibar simply cannot find any way through this Barcelona defence so far.
Fabián Orellana
Yellow Card
Fabián Orellana is booked for a late foul on Iniesta.
Chance! Brilliant play from Eibar as Diop's flicked pass plays Orellana down the right wing and into space. His driven low pass finds Inui, who can only fire wide of the right post from just inside the box. Better from Eibar but the final product is still lacking.
Paulinho is swarmed by Eibar players on the right wing and a poor touch sees the ball roll out for a throw in.
Poor from Suarez. Messi shrugs off the challenge from Anaitz Arbilla to race into the Eibar box. He slides a pass into the feet of the Uruguayan striker who's side-footed effort is skied high over the bar.
Great play from Suarez as his improvised flick leaves Paulinho in acres of space to race into. The Brazilian lacks the pace to outrun Ruben Pena though, who forces the Barca man wide.
Andrés Iniesta
Yellow Card
Andrés Iniesta is booked for a foul on Pape Diop.
We are back underway!
Iván Ramis is replaced by David Lombán at half-time.
The players are back out on the pitch, ahead of the start of the second half.
Barcelona have a narrow lead at the break after Lionel Messi's brilliant through ball allowed Luis Suarez to round the Eibar goalkeeper and slot into an empty net. Eibar have pressed and hounded the Catalans for the majority of the first half but they were unable to make their pressure count, with Kike and Jordan guilty of missing good chances, as well as Orellana hitting the crossbar.
An Eibar attack fizzles out as a communication breakdown on the right wing between Orellana and Jordan sees the latters' pass roll straight out of play.
Eibar have slowly lost their edge as this first half has worn on and they have really struggled to make the most of their chances so far. Things are looking comfortable for the league leaders at the moment.
Close! Suarez is in behind the Eibar defence once again, taking the ball wide before laying it off for Messi. The Argentine's curling shot looks to be an impossible angle but he manages to strike the inside of the far post. Great effort and very nearly a second goal for Barca.
Ivan Rakitic loses in the defensive third and Kike Garcia is able to charge forward. He has an option for the pass but decides to shoot, with his low effort curling wide of the right post.
A chipped pass from the left wing by Alba finds Paulinho in the centre of the box, but the Brazilian's low header lacks the power to cause Dmitrovic any concern.
Jordan has space on the edge of the box but his low shot towards the near post is poor, rolling harmlessly wide.
Eibar try to play Orellana behind the Barca defence on the right wing but a well-timed interception by Alba prevents the danger. It's a midfield battle at the moment with neither side offering much in the way of attack in the last five minutes or so.
Orellana tries to wriggle his way between three Barca players on the right wing but runs out of space, with Umtiti able to launch the long ball forward. Straight back to the home side though.
Eibar have eased off on the pressure a little bit as they opt for a more measured approach to their attack. Barca are holding their line well though. The home side will have to be careful as there is plenty of space in the defence that the quality of the likes of Messi and Andres Iniesta can exploit.
Having weathered the early storm, Barca look to have gained a measure of control in the tie now as they start to see plenty more of the ball. They are almost allowing Eibar to press them high now and using the high defensive line to try and get the forwards behind with the long balls.
Close! Orellana picks the ball up on the edge of the Barca box and unleashes a dipping effort, which clips the top of the crossbar with ter Stegen well beaten.
L. Messi
Lionel Messi with an excellent through ball to play Suarez in behind the Eibar defence to slot in the opening goal.
L. Suárez
GOAL! Barcelona have the lead completely against the run of play! Messi plays a defence-splitting pass straight through the Eibar defence for Luis Suarez, who rounds Marko Dmitrovic and rolls the ball into the open net.
Barcelona are struggling to retain possession at the moment, which is certainly an unusual predicament for the Catalan side. Eibar's intense pressing is frequently forcing the away side to clear their lines and straight back to the home side.
The initial corner is cleared but Eibar get a second chance. It is swung in from the right by Orellana and Ivan Ramis rises high to meet it, with his low header being comfortably collected by ter Stegen.
Another quick charge forward from Eibar and Inui wins his side another corner.
The corner is overhit, with Fabian Orellana eventually bringing down Alba to give Barcelona a bit of a breather.
Corner for Eibar. Another quick attack finds Takashi Inui on the left wing, but his cross his hammered out of play by Pique.
Chance at both ends! Lionel Messi slips through Luis Suarez inside the Eibar box. He lays the ball off for Jordi Alba to shoot but it is blocked and the break is on for Eibar. The ball finds Fabian Orellana on the right of the box but his powerful driven effort is over the bar.
All Eibar at the moment as they are pressing the league leaders right back as far as Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the Barcelona goal. Excellent start from the home side.
Eibar with a strong start to the game as Jose Angel fires a header over the bar after some sustained pressure in the final third.
Eibar get the game underway, kicking right to left.
The two sides are out on the pitch, with just a few minutes to go until kick-off.
Barcelona make four changes from the side that were held to a draw by Getafe last weekend. Centre-backs Gerard Pique and Samuel Umtiti return to the side from injury and suspension respectively, replacing Lucas Digne and Yerry Mina. Philippe Coutinho drops to the bench in favour of Andres Iniesta and Paulinho replaces Paco Alcacer.
Joan Jordan replaces Charles in Eibar’s only change from the side that beat Leganes 1-0 last weekend, with the latter dropping to the bench.
Barcelona substitutes: Cillessen, Vidal, Coutinho, Digne, Mina, Semedo, Dembele.
Barcelona XI (4-3-1-2): ter Stegen; Roberto, Pique, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Busquets, Iniesta; Paulinho; Messi, Suarez.
Eibar substitutes: Alejo, Riesgo, Escalante, Lomban, Leon, Capa, Charles.
Eibar XI (4-2-3-1): Dmitrovic; Pena, Ramis, Arbilla, Angel; Dani Garcia, Diop; Orellana, Jordan, Inui; Kike Garcia.
There’s just over 15 minutes left to go until kick-off, so let’s have a look at how the two teams will be lining up this afternoon…
The Catalans will need to find a quick return to winning ways though as they face a testing month, with a visit of nearest rivals Atletico wedged between the two-leg Champions League tie with Chelsea. They will have defender Samuel Umtiti available again after he returned from suspension, while Thomas Vermaelen remains the only injury absentee for the club.
Barcelona’s back-to-back draws against Getafe and Espanyol means second-placed Atletico Madrid have narrowed the gap at the top to seven points, although Ernesto Valverde’s side remain unbeaten in LaLiga so far this season.
Their meeting with Barcelona today could not come at a better time, as the league leaders have been faltering in recent weeks as well as having a midweek Champions League clash to prepare for. Manager Jose Luis Mendilibar will be without forward Sergi Enrich and midfielder Fran Rico, while defender Paulo Oliveira is a doubt.
Eibar have been a surprise package in LaLiga this season, sitting in seventh and vying for one of the Europa League qualification spots. The Basque side are unbeaten in their last four outings, including a 5-1 mauling of Sevilla, and have lost only once in their last 12 league fixtures.
Good afternoon and welcome to our live coverage of today’s LaLiga game between Eibar and Barcelona at the Estadio Municipal de Ipura.