LaLiga 2018-19: FC Barcelona 3-0 SD Eibar - 5 Talking Points
FC Barcelona faced Eibar in match-week 19 of the LaLiga. This was Barcelona's first game at home in 2019. Eibar came into the game only three points clear of the relegation zone in the 16th place. FC Barcelona came into the game following their Copa Del Rey loss, away to Levante.
Barcelona's gap at the top was cut down to two points following Atletico Madrid's win against Levante. Ernesto Valverde returned to his favoured 11 against Eibar. Sergi Roberto started at right-back spot. Arthur started in the midfield alongside Rakitic. Interestingly, Phillipe Coutinho got the nod to start at left-wing ahead of Ousmane Dembele.
Barcelona opened the scoring in the 19th minute. Luis Suarez found the back of the net after a neat exchange of passes with Coutinho. They doubled the lead eight minutes into the second half. Lionel Messi scored his 400th LaLiga goal in the 53rd minute. Six minutes later, Luis Suarez hit the back of the net again. The three goals were enough to see Barcelona through the game and maintain their top spot, five points ahead of the second-placed Atletico Madrid.
The Blaugrana will face Levante in the second leg of Copa Del Rey next. Here are five talking points from the game.
#5 Eibar start the game with intent but lose heart with time
Eibar played beautifully in the opening moments of the game. The exchange of passes and the possession game frustrated the Barcelona players for a while. The wing play in the left-hand side was proving to be tormenting for the Blaugrana. Sergi Roberto was very busy down the flank due to attacks from the side. They even managed to keep possession as much as they could.
But once Barcelona took the ball, they were weak in the back end and ended up conceding the first goal despite playing with so much intent. They got a lot of opportunities even after the first goal to equalize but they couldn't take any of it. They only managed to get 2 out of their 15 attempts on target.
In the second half, Barcelona stepped their foot on the gas and scored two quick goals. The Eibar side just lost the motivation to attack, it seemed, after the second goal. Sergi Enrich blew one or two easy chances but that was about it from the team. Had Eibar made more of the opportunities, it might have been different. At the end of the day, Marc Andre Ter Stegen had nothing much to do in front of goal.