Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
Culture | By Stewart Greene

Chelsea will have paid attention to how Barcelona lined up vs Eibar

Chelsea will have paid attention to how Barcelona lined up vs Eibar

Barcelona's industry was rewarded with a 2-0 win at Ipurua, where Luis Suarez scored a well-crafted early goal before Jordi Alba added a late second after both Eibar winger Fabian Orellana and manager Jose Luis Mendilibar had been sent off.

The Blues go into their huge last-16 first-leg tie with renewed confidence after winning their last two games, but will still rank as underdogs against Spain's leading side.

Barcelona's win saw them equal a club record of 31 matches unbeaten in La Liga, which had been set under Pep Guardiola during the 2010/11 campaign.

Luis Suarez opened the scoring against the run of play when Lionel Messi played a defense-splitting pass which found the Uruguayan, who then rounded Eibar keeper Marko Dmitrovic to roll the ball into an empty net.

January loan signing Orellana was shown a second yellow card for punching the ball away in anger.

Barcelona now boasts a seven-point lead over second-placed Atletico Madrid.

The advantage would normally give the coach room to rotate his squad in order to keep his side fresh for the visit to Chelsea in the Champions League three days later but tiny Eibar's consistency means such a move risks his side falling closer to second-placed Atletico Madrid.

The second half with much intensity and pressing from the visitors which led to Eibar seeing a red auto.

"We need to get going again and after the Getafe game this is now even more important".

Having gone a goal behind, Eibar's confidence seemed to drain a little, and Barcelona nearly scored a second.

Barca's attention now turns to Chelsea on Tuesday in the Champions League round of 16, with Sergio Busquets saying nothing is being taken for granted despite the excellent results so far under Valverde.

It will be 90 demanding minutes for Barca, who will have to not only match Eibar for skill, but also for effort and commitment.

The hosts were not deterred by the red card as they dominated the proceedings with 15 minutes as they pushed for an equaliser.

But the team brilliance of Eibar, like every other side on the planet, struggled to cope with the individual brilliance of Barcelona.

Mendilibar followed suit later on after lashing at the officials, for their failure to send Suarez to the stands in the same way they did to his player.

Additionally, the Catalan giants are in the final of the Copa del Rey and are among the favourites to win the Champions League.

- Barcelona have won their eight LaLiga games against Eibar (3.5 goals per game), the only side which have won all their games in LaLiga against Eibar alongside Atletico (seven).

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