Baby on board? Alba dedicates Barca goal to girlfriend
Barcelona defender Jordi Alba felt victory at Eibar was vital to their LaLiga title bid but also added a personal touch to his goal.
Jordi Alba dished out some late Valentine's cheer by dedicating his goal in Barcelona's 2-0 win at Eibar to his girlfriend.
Luis Suarez opened the scoring the in the 16th minute against the run of play and Eibar did plenty to make LaLiga's leaders feel uncomfortable, although Fabian Orellana undermined their efforts with a needless 66th-minute red card.
Alba was on hand to seal the points two minutes from time and later told reporters his second top-flight strike of the season doubled up as a gift to his significant other.
"I like to score. I scored this one for my girlfriend," he explained, having performed a thumb-sucking celebration from which obvious conclusions can be drawn.
Ernesto Valverde's men returned to winning ways after back-to-back draws against Espanyol and Getafe allowed Atletico Madrid to trip their advantage at the top of the table to seven points.
As such, Alba insisted Tuesday's trip to Chelsea was the furthest thing from the collective minds of a strong Barca XI.
"We've dropped points and given Atleti a little sniff. We knew we had to win," he said.
"We were up against a team with a defined style of play who know what they are doing. They press you, they harass you.
"We had to win just for the sake of this league. We knew it was going to be complicated. The idea of this and the Champions League are completely separate. We just had to do our business and get three points."
Orellana's second booking came for punching the ball away in frustration after Pape Diop was penalised for a foul on Sergio Busquets.
Eibar head coach Jose Luis Mendilibar felt Orellana had been judged by different standards to Suarez and was himself sent to the stands shortly afterwards for prolonged and voluble complaints.
"Every coach is going to argue the case of his own players," Alba observed diplomatically.
"I didn't really see the second yellow card.
"After the red card they still pressed us, they still closed us down. That's why we really celebrated the second goal because only then had we put the game to bed."
It turns out it was not all about his girlfriend.