Messi equals another record as he hits the woodwork yet again

Lionel Messi is no stranger to picking up records and he was at it yet again as he was denied by the woodwork against Eibar.

The Argentine looked set to make it 2-0 in the first half when he fired at goal from a tight angle but once again saw the ball hit the frame of the goal.

Opta show just how many times he has been denied by the woodwork already this season.

Despite that, Messi did finish the game with an assist which ensures he remains top of the charts in La Liga for both goals and assists.

He is, though, overdue a goal as Messi has not scored in any of his last five games, his last goal coming in the 2-1 win over Alaves.

Barca equal Pep’s unbeaten record against Eibar

Barcelona equalled a club record on Saturday after they saw off Eibar 2-0 in La Liga.

Goals from Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba secured the win for Barca in a really tough game against Eibar.

The win means that Barca have now gone 31 games unbeaten in La Liga, equalling the record set by Pep’s team in 2011.

Barcelona now have the chance to break that record next weekend when they welcome Girona to Camp Nou on Saturday.

Eibar 0-2 Barça: Efficient

Not the best performance, but a good win

Unbeaten La Liga leaders Barcelona are back to winning ways thanks to a 2-0 victory over Eibar at the Ipurua Stadium on Saturday. The Blaugrana played an efficient game and scored the goals in key moments to get the win and stay well ahead of the chasing pack.

FIRST HALF

It’s safe to say Barça were brutally efficient in the first half, which means thye just didn’t play well at all but took advantage of the only real scoring chance they had. After absorbing a lot of pressure from a really good Eibar side who passed the ball well in the attacking half, Barça struck quickly when Luis Suárez was put through on goal and rounded the keeper to get the opener.

Marc-André ter Stegen had to work hard in the first half and make quite a few good saves, keeping Barça ahead in the game and helping the rest of the defense take a hard-earned one-goal lead at halftime. But Barça needed to improve in the second half, because Eibar were ready to pounce.

SECOND HALF

The second half was not really that different from the first, but Barça did a better job of limiting Eibar’s chances to long distance efforts that did not really bother Ter Stegen and his buddies. Fabián Orellana being sent off also hurt Eibar’s chances of getting an equalizer, but the fact that Barça couldn’t score a second to kill the game gave the hosts a little bit of hope.

Until the 88th minute when Philippe Coutinho made a gorgeous switch to Aleix Vidal, who passed it to Lionel Messi inside the box; Messi wasn’t able to beat the keeper, but Jordi Alba was right behind Leo and was able to fire home the second and win the game.

This wasn’t a great performance by any means, but it’s clear that the players were thinking about Chelsea and they just wanted a good win to go into Tuesday with confidence. Job done.


Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Paulinho (Vidal), Busquets, Iniesta (Coutinho); Messi, Suárez

Goals: Suárez (16’), Alba (88’)

Eibar: Dmitrovic; Peña, Ramis (Lombán), Arbilla, Ángel; García, Diop (Escalante); Orellana, Jordán, Inui; Kike

Goals: None

Eibar vs Barça: Lineups & Live Thread

Join us to follow and comment the action as Barça face Eibar!

MATCH INFO, HOW TO WATCH ON TV/ONLINE

Preview: Eibar vs Barcelona

Competition/Round: 2017-18 La Liga, Matchday 24

Date/Time: Saturday, February 17th, 2018, 4.15pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 3.15pm GMT (UK), 10.15am EST, 7.15am PST (USA), 8.45pm IST (India)

Venue: Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain

Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández

How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA, Canada, Spain), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), others

How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA, Canada, Spain), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)


LINEUPS

BARCELONA

Starting XI: Ter Stegen; Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Rakitic, Paulinho, Busquets, Iniesta; Messi, Suárez

Substitutes: Cillessen, Semedo, Mina, Digne, Vidal, Coutinho, Dembélé

EIBAR

Starting XI: Dmitrovic; Peña, Ramis, Arbilla, Ángel; García, Diop; Orellana, Jordán, Inui; Kike

Substitutes: Riesgo, Escalante, Capa, Charles, Ivi, León, Lombán


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FC Barcelona News: 17 February 2018

Match Preview: Eibar vs Barça in Week 24 of La Liga | FC Barcelona
Saturday’s match is a collision course of sorts, as in-form SD Eibar welcomes FC Barcelona to the Basque Country for a late afternoon La Liga clash in which something’s gotta give. Eibar, which is in 7th place and is 8–3–1 in its last 12 league games, will not only try and beat the league leading Catalans for the first time ever, but they will also be looking to put the brakes on Barça’s 30-game unbeaten streak.

Squad announced for Eibar | FC Barcelona
The 18 heading to the Basque Country on Friday evening are: Ter Stegen, Semedo, Piqué, Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta, Luis Suárez, Messi, Dembélé, Cillessen, Coutinho, Paulinho, Jordi Alba, Digne, Sergi Roberto, Aleix Vidal, Umtiti and Yerry Mina.

Ernesto Valverde only thinking about Eibar | FC Barcelona
“Eibar are a team who put you under a great deal of pressure high up the field and they are one of the teams in the top flight who try to play the game in your half,” said the Barça coach in his pre-game press conference on Friday at the Ciutat Esportiva.

Exclusive interview: How Ter Stegen got to the top of the goalkeeping world | ESPN
One of the things that most stands out about Ter Stegen, maybe even the thing that is commented upon most, is that he is a goalkeeper who is good with his feet. He’s often seen clipping perfect passes to teammates and stopping a thousand hearts as he avoids tackles from opponents, dribbling around them like there’s ice in his veins.

Chelsea rout Hull ahead of Barça visit (4-0) | FC Barcelona
In their last game before hosting FC Barcelona in the Champions League, Chelsea progressed to the FA Cup quarter finals with a comfortable 4-0 win over Championship strugglers Hull City. Brazilian Willian scored twice in the first half, with former Barça man Pedro getting a goal in between off an assist from another ex-blaugrana Cesc Fàbregas.

How to watch Eibar vs Barça

Barça face a tough trip to the Basque Country, and you cannot miss it

La Liga leaders Barcelona are back in action after a whole week of rest and training, and the Blaugrana will be hoping to return to winning ways after a very tough result at home against Getafe.

Barça are yet to lose a game in the league this season, but the Getafe draw was a poor result that was not expected. Atlético Madrid are starting to get closer in the table, and the Catalan giants need to keep them far away, so a win against Eibar on Saturday is a must.

It won’t be easy, though. Eibar are 7th in the league and having a very solid season that could take them to Europe, and their home atmosphere is one of the toughest in Spain. Lionel Messi and his friends need to have a great match to get a win, and this is one you just can’t miss.


MATCH INFO

Competition/Round: 2017-18 La Liga, Matchday 24

Date/Time: Saturday, February 17th, 2018, 4.15pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 3.15pm GMT (UK), 10.15am EST, 7.15am PST (USA), 8.45pm IST (India)

Venue: Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain

Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández

HOW TO WATCH, STREAM LA LIGA

How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA, Canada, Spain), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), others

How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA, Canada, Spain), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)


LINEUPS

Lineups will be posted when announced. For a look at the possible lineups and a full preview of the game, click here.

How to watch Eibar vs Barça

Barça face a tough trip to the Basque Country, and you cannot miss it

La Liga leaders Barcelona are back in action after a whole week of rest and training, and the Blaugrana will be hoping to return to winning ways after a very tough result at home against Getafe.

Barça are yet to lose a game in the league this season, but the Getafe draw was a poor result that was not expected. Atlético Madrid are starting to get closer in the table, and the Catalan giants need to keep them far away, so a win against Eibar on Saturday is a must.

It won’t be easy, though. Eibar are 7th in the league and having a very solid season that could take them to Europe, and their home atmosphere is one of the toughest in Spain. Lionel Messi and his friends need to have a great match to get a win, and this is one you just can’t miss.


MATCH INFO

Competition/Round: 2017-18 La Liga, Matchday 24

Date/Time: Saturday, February 17th, 2018, 4.15pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 3.15pm GMT (UK), 10.15am EST, 7.15am PST (USA), 8.45pm IST (India)

Venue: Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain

Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández

HOW TO WATCH, STREAM LA LIGA

How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA, Canada, Spain), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), others

How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA, Canada, Spain), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)


LINEUPS

Lineups will be posted when announced. For a look at the possible lineups and a full preview of the game, click here.

Barça squad named for Eibar

Ernesto Valverde has called up 18 players for Saturday’s league trip to the Basque Country

The next Barcelona match is upon us! The Blaugrana travel to the Basque Country for a tough La Liga game away to Eibar, and Ernesto Valverde has called up a strong group of 18 players to be in uniform at the Ipurua.

This is the full squad:


Goalkeepers: 1. Marc-André ter Stegen, 13. Jasper Cillessen

Defenders: 2. Nélson Semedo, 3. Gerard Piqué, 18. Jordi Alba, 19. Lucas Digne, 20. Sergi Roberto, 23. Samuel Umtiti, 24. Yerry Mina

Midfielders: 4. Ivan Rakitic, 5. Sergio Busquets, 8. Andrés Iniesta, 14. Philippe Coutinho, 15. Paulinho Bezerra, 22. Aleix Vidal

Forwards: 9. Luis Suárez, 10. Lionel Messi, 11. Ousmane Dembélé


Valverde calls his best players for this one, which is somewhat of a surprise given there’s a giant Champions League game away to Chelsea on Tuesday night. There could be some rotation, though, but we’ll only know for sure when the team news come out. Thomas Vermaelen will miss out again due to injury, while Paco Alcácer, Denis Suarez and André Gomes are left out per the manager’s decision.

Predicted starting XI (4-4-2):

Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Vidal, Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez


The match kicks off at 4.15pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 3.15pm GMT (UK), 10.15am EST, 7.15am PST (USA), 8.45pm IST (India), and you can join us to follow and comment all the action.

VISCA EL BARÇA!

Eibar vs Barça: Preview

The leaders face a tough trip to the Basque Country looking to return to winning ways

Eibar (7th, 35pts) vs FC Barcelona (1st, 59pts)


Competition/Round: 2017-18 La Liga, Matchday 24

Barcelona injuries: Thomas Vermaelen

Eibar injuries: Sergi Enrich, Fran Rico

Date/Time: Saturday, February 17th, 2018, 4.15pm CET/WAT (Barcelona & Nigeria), 3.15pm GMT (UK), 10.15am EST, 7.15am PST (USA), 8.45pm IST (India)

Venue: Estadio Municipal de Ipurua, Gipuzkoa, Basque Country, Spain

Referee: Alejandro José Hernández Hernández

How to watch on TV: beIN SPORTS (USA, Canada, Spain), SuperSport 7 (Nigeria), SONY TEN 2 (India), others

How to stream: beIN SPORTS CONNECT (USA, Canada, Spain), FuboTV (7-day free trial, click here to sign up)


After a full week of rest and training following last week’s disappointing draw against Getafe, Barcelona should be feeling fresh and ready to return to winning ways when they travel to the Basque Country for a tough La Liga match against Eibar. The Blaugrana have been fairly successful away to Eibar, but playing in their tiny stadium filled with some crazy, crazy, crazy fans is never easy.

Ernesto Valverde and his men definitely do not want a second poor result in a row, not only to keep their great distance to Atlético Madrid but also avoid a dip in confidence ahead of Tuesday’s giant Champions League match against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Facing a very good team away from home at a tough ground in the Basque Country will be a good preparation to face a very good team away from home at a tough ground in London, so a win is really, really important on Saturday.


POSSIBLE LINEUPS

Barcelona (4-4-2): Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Umtiti, Alba; Vidal, Rakitic, Busquets, Coutinho; Messi, Suárez

Eibar (4-4-2): Dmitrovic; Peña, Ramis, Arbilla, Ángel; Orellana, Diop, García, Inui; Charles, Kike


PREDICTION

A trip to Eibar is always tough, but we’ll get the job done with a good game: 2-0 to the leaders.

Valverde talks Pique, Messi and Iniesta ahead of Eibar clash

Ernesto Valverde has been in the hotseat taking questions from the press ahead of tomorrow’s La Liga clash with Eibar.

The Barcelona boss didn’t give much away, insisting his side were focused on Eibar and not thinking about the Champions League clash with Chelsea yet.

Here are the best bits…

Valverde on Eibar

They are in good form at the moment. They had a poor start to the season but since then they have got into good rhythm and are in good form. They have a very distinct way of playing. They are not in the European places, but almost, and apart from that what they have is a way of playing and they know exactly what they are doing. It’s difficult to play aginst. They are very intense, they put a lot of crosses in. You have to know how to get around that pressure and try to hurt them.

Valverde on team selection

Tomorrow’s game is important, Tuesday’s is important too. But the only thing we are thinking about is tomorrow’s game. We needed this week to give us a bit of a break. Now we have to start again. We are not thinking about Tuesday’s game. After the Getafe match it’s even more important.

Valverde on Vermaelen and Pique

I will wait for the training session with regards to Pique, but he was available last week so we imagine he will be available. With Vermaelen we have to wait, if there’s any kind of doubt we won’t risk him.

Valverde on Iniesta to China

If that happens then we will think about it but I have nothing to say about that because I haven’t even thought about it. I can’t comment on every story that comes out. Andres is our player, he will train a bit later today. We want him to stay with us, play more games and score more goals which is what he does.

Valverde on Coutinho and Dembele

Good players show what they can do on the field. We are in the decisive phase of the season and of course if they can do it then we’re going to be happy. But Dembele has had two injuries, Coutinho has just joined the team. What is clear is that we want them to help us.

Valverde on Argentina asking Messi to rest

I have faith in everyone, above all in Leo, who is our player, and I know his ambition is to win everything for Barca and then for then national team We want Leo in his best form for us and for them.

Valverde on Eibar’s pitch

The clear question is we have to adapt to the stadium, the size of the pitch, their style of play. The fact is that the ground is a little bit smaller or is a bit narrow. I think we’re used to that because we’ve played on small pitches before. It’s true they take advantage of playing at home because they put you under pressure and it’s difficult to get out of. At the end of the day they try and make you play they way they want you to. We have to try and get over that.

Valverde on having a week’s rest

We needed this week off, on a mental level more than a physical one. When you have more time before games, it’s easier to manage them and prepare for them. This midweek break has come at a good time for us, having a few days off to rest mentally from the drain of fighting to get to the Copa del Rey final. I would have liked to play against Eibar on Friday, too, to have an extra day before the game against Chelsea.