Barca take top spot in La Liga as Messi and Griezmann net against Eibar
La Liga, Municipal de Ipurua - Eibar 0 Barcelona 3 (Griezmann 13, Messi 58, Suarez 66)
Ernesto Valverde selected Samuel Umtiti to start alongside Clement Lenglet at the back with Gerard Pique ruled out through suspension, and it seemed that Eibar were targeting the Frenchman early on with a number of dangerous crosses into the box.
Barca took a grip of the contest after 13 minutes, though, when Griezmann guided a finish into the back of the net off the inside of the post following an exceptional pass over the top from deep by Lenglet.
The Catalans put their foot down in the second half, doubling their advantage just before the hour mark. Frenkie de Jong found Suarez who in turn found Griezmann, with the Frenchman setting up Messi for the side-footed finish.
And the points were in the bag 10 minutes later when Suarez grabbed a goal for himself, although he had Messi to thank for setting him up for the tap in having been played in behind by Griezmann. Barcelona never really looked like losing this one.
TALKING POINT - There are signs of a growing understanding between Barcelona’s front three
This match saw Griezmann, Messi and Suarez all find the net in the same game as Barcelona players and there were signs throughout that an understanding between the trio is starting to grow. Griezmann is quite clearly still getting to grips with his new surroundings and his new teammates, but Valverde will surely be encouraged by what he saw from all three.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Luis Suarez (Barcelona)
A few weeks ago, the case was commonly being made that Suarez’s time as Barcelona’s primary centre forward had come to an end. That the Uruguayan should make way for Griezmann. Since then, however, Valverde has found a way to fit both players into his team and this was another demonstration of Suarez’s brilliance. On another day, he could have scored one or two more. Nonetheless, his movement and finishing was too much for Eibar, having a hand in all three Barca goals.
Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (L) vies with Eibar's Spanish midfielder Sergio Alvarez during the Spanish league football match SD Eibar against FC Barcelona at the Ipurua stadium in Eibar on October 19, 2019Getty Images
13’ GOAL! Eibar 0-1 Barcelona: Barcelona have taken the lead! Griezmann had barely touched the ball until now, but he has found the back of the net! The Frenchman was played over the top and he made no mistake in finishing off the inside of the near post.
32’ Dmitrovic stops Messi! We were all waiting for Messi to stick the ball in the back of the net. He looked to have rounded the Eibar goalkeeper, but Dmitrovic managed to claw the ball away from his feet right at the last moment.
50’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO... NO! Messi and Suarez play a lovely one-two with the latter chipping a wonderful finish over Dmitrovic. The flag goes up. Suarez was just offside. Not much in it, though.
58’ GOAL! Eibar 0-2 Barcelona: There's Barcelona's second goal and that could be the points in the bag for the visitors! De Jong found Suarez who in turn found Griezmann. His flick set up Messi and the Argentine calmly finished into the back of the net.
66’ GOAL! Eibar 0-3 Barcelona: The match is done and dusted. The points are in the bag for Barcelona. Griezmann played a great pass in behind to release Messi through on goal and the Argentine set up Suarez for the tap in. All three Barca attackers have now found the back of the net!
Lionel Messi has now scored in nine of the 10 La Liga games he has played against Eibar (16 goals in total).
Clement Lenglet produced his first La Liga assist as a Barcelona player.