Published: Sun, February 18, 2018
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Barcelona vs. Eibar: David Will Be the Winner Whatever Happens Against Goliath

Barcelona vs. Eibar: David Will Be the Winner Whatever Happens Against Goliath

Barca may have been taken aback by the intensity and force that Eibar played with, but it wasn't enough to ruffle their feathers as they did what they do best and dismantled the Eibar defense to find the opening goal of the game.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde would have liked more time to prepare for Tuesday's Champions League game against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Atletico Madrid's chances of a league challenge have suddenly been reignited, having lost just one league game all season - at Espanyol (proving to display a formula for halting La Liga's best).

Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba were on target as Barcelona saw off Eibar 2-0 on Saturday to continue their unbeaten record in La Liga and extend their lead at the top of the table.

And despite an indifferent display here, another clean sheet, a win and the form of Messi and Suarez gives them reasons to be optimistic as they travel to London for Tuesday's last-16 first leg.

Messi picked the ball up on the half-way line, danced into the opponents half, then delivered a pin-point defence-splitting pass to send through teammate Luis Suarez. But a moment of brilliance by Messi was all it took to swing the match Barcelona's way.

However, in the 66th minute they were sent down to ten men after Orellana received his second yellow card for dissent after he punched the ball away after Diop was penalised for a challenge on Sergio Busquets.

It would be remiss for the Catalan team to underestimate in-form Eibar, who this year's plucky underdogs that are vying for a place in Europe.

Ousmane Dembele (stomach) is doubtful, but will likely play.

Suarez's goal came against the flow of the match.

Valencia scored two late goals to snatch a 2-1 win at bottom side Malaga, which was left seven points from safety.

Eibar know exactly how to play in the small ground with the stands virtually on top of the pitch and very often with the wet conditions that await Barca on Saturday.

Eibar have won four of their last five at home.

It's even more impressive in light of early season problems: The reverse fixture at the Camp Nou, which finished 6-1 to Barcelona, started a run of eight games without a win, including six defeats. This includes today's red card for Orellana. They were expected to fight near the bottom of the standings this year, but they have stunned the world time and time again, and now sit in seventh place in the standings with 35 points. They didn't get their reward here but they may still get it at the end of the season.

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