Ousmane Dembele came off the bench to score an equaliser as EIbar held on for a point against a Barcelona team missing Lionel Messi.

Messi watched on from the stands at the Camp Nou having picked up a knock in Barca’s win over Real Valladolid before Christmas and the Catalans struggled to create much without the Argentine in the side.

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The hosts were presented with a golden opportunity to find the net after just eight minutes, though, when VAR was used to spot a foul on Ronald Araujo in the box. Martin Braithwaite, however, put his penalty wide of the target.

Braithwaite looked to have made amends when he swept home a first time finish from a Junior Firpo cross, but VAR showed the Danish striker was ahead of the ball when the pass was made and the goal was ruled out for offside.

Dmitrovic saved from Dembele, who was played clean through by Pedri, seconds before Eibar took a shock lead, with Kike Garcia pinching the ball off Araujo and finishing past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

However, Barcelona responded through Dembele, who converted with his right foot after a pass to the back post by Firpo. Philippe Coutinho and Francisco Trincao were introduced as Barca looked for a winner, but Eibar held on for a point that keeps the Catalans in sixth place in La Liga.

TALKING POINT - Lionel Messi notable in his absence for toothless Barca

Messi hasn’t quite been himself this season. Indeed, the Argentine has frequently played within himself in many games as speculation over his future at the Camp Nou continues to swirl. But this was a demonstration of just how reliant Barcelona still are on their number 10 to create chances and take them. The Catalans were toothless without Messi on the pitch. They simply didn’t do enough to test Marko Dmitrovic in the Eibar goal. A disappointing end to 2020 for Barcelona.

MAN OF THE MATCH - Junior Firpo (Barcelona)

On another night, Junior Firpo would have finished this match with a hat-trick of assists. The 24-year-old was a real threat down the left side for Barcelona and showed good composure in setting up his team-mates for a number of opportunities. His final ball was good, providing the assist for Dembele’s equaliser and setting up Braithwaite for his disallowed goal in the first half. This was arguably Firpo’s best performance in a Barca shirt to date.

PLAYER RATINGS

Barcelona: Ter Stegen 6, Araujo 3, Lenglet 5, Mingueza 5, Dest 4, De Jong 5, Pjanic 6, Firpo 8, Pedri 7, Griezmann 5, Braithwaite 5. Subs - Dembele 7, Coutinho 5, Trincao 6, Busquets 4, Puig.

Eibar: Dmitrovic 7, Pozo 5, Burgos 6, Bigas 7, Soares 6, Kadzior 7, Sergio 6, Diop 6, Edu 5 Exposito 5, Inui 6, Kike 7. Subs - Recio 6, Muto 5, Oliveira 5.

KEY MOMENTS

8’ PENALTY KICK TO BARCELONA! The referee points to the spot after a VAR review. There was a foul on Araujo!

9’ PENALTY KICK MISSED! Braithwaite steps up to the spot and puts his penalty kick wide of the target! Dmitrovic guessed the right way, but he didn't even have to make a save!

26’ GOOOOOO… NO! Braithwaite makes amends for the missed penalty by opening the scoring! The ball was sprayed out to the left side and Firpo picked out the Danish striker in the middle. But wait… VAR has ruled it out for offside! That was a tight call!

56’ Dembele was clean through! That should have been the opener for Barcelona! Pedri played the pass through the middle, but Dmitrovic came off his line to make the save from the French winger!

57’ GOAL! Barcelona 0-1 Eibar: Eibar have a shock lead at the Camp Nou! Araujo took far too long on the ball, Kike pinched it off the toe of the Barcelona defender and finished calmly past Ter Stegen! Another defensive error costs Barca a goal! The easy side have the advantage!

67’ GOAL! Barcelona 1-1 Eibar: An equaliser! Pedri plays the pass in behind to release Firpo to the byline, he squares the low pass into the middle, the ball runs all the way to Dembele at the back post and the French winger sweeps home the finish with his right foot!

90+1’ TRINCAO... wide! What a run that was from the youngster. He dribbled past three Eibar players, the angle was tight and he could only send his low shot wide of the far post! Only seconds remaining.

KEY STATS

Barcelona have missed more penalty kicks (three) than any other team in La Liga this season and they have all been missed by different players (Martin Braithwaite, Antoine Griezmann and Lionel Messi).

Brathwaite made just three passes for Barcelona in the opening 45 minutes against Eibar.

Barcelona have made more errors leading to goals (four) than any other team in La Liga this season.

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