18 February, 2018
"They want you to play like they do, they start games well and we will have to adapt to the situation, the size of the pitch and their style above all".
Before their Champions League soccer clash with Chelsea in London, Lionel Messi and Barcelona put their unbeaten record in the Spanish La Liga on the line against Eibar in the rather less glamorous surrounds of Ipurua today.
Of the last 23 sendings off in La Liga matches involving Barcelona, 22 of them have been against Barcelona's rivals.
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.
Lionel Messi and co will have their minds set on securing their first place La Liga position when they head to Eibar on Saturday. It was the Argentine's glorious ball which paved the way for Suarez's opener to temporarily flatten the Ipurua crowd.
Messi's weight-perfect pass threaded past three defenders left Luis Suarez all alone in the 16th minute.
However, the Chilean was sent off midway through the second half, stupidly picking up a second yellow card for kicking the ball away.
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However, Alba sealed the match in the last minute after.
But the team brilliance of Eibar, like every other side on the planet, struggled to cope with the individual brilliance of Barcelona.
But having passed their Eibar exam, Tuesday's trip to Stamford Bridge represents an altogether tougher test for Valverde's side. Those two wins have come in the last two matches.
Barca were looking to kill off the game early on in the second period, after Suarez met a delivery from Messi at the back-post, but he could only find the side-netting. Barca's average attendance is more than 10 times that figure, while the entire population of Eibar (fewer than 30,000) would fit into Camp Nou more than three times over.
Jose Angel Valdes, Ivan Ramis and Kike all came close to opening the scoring before Suarez finally struck.
Even though Atletico Madrid won a tricky 1-0 away fixture to Malaga last week, Simeone believes there are areas to improve if they want to compete for the title. Orellana then hit the bar with a fine strike.
However, with the gap at the top down to seven points and Barcelona having to contend with Champions League knockout football and a Copa final later in the season, it could be that Los Rojiblancos have half a chance of applying major pressure. Eibar's intensity and fighting spirit was revived as they had the upper hand over the league leaders.