Mixed feelings as Barça end LaLiga season with a 2-2 draw

Messi bagged a two-minute brace at Ipurua to move onto 36 goals this season and all but secure the golden boot award

Messi firmó un doblete en el último partido de LaLiga 2018-2019 en Ipurúa
Messi firmó un doblete en el último partido de LaLiga 2018-2019 en Ipurúa | EFE

It feels right that FC Barcelona's LaLiga campaign with end with mixed signals. The club is still feeling the impact of that crushing defeat to Liverpool but put on an entertaining show against Eibar at Ipurua. However if this was the dress rehearsal for the Copa del Rey final the signs aren't entirely positive.

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MATCH FACTS

LaLiga Santander

EIB

2-2

FCB

SD Eibar

Dmitrovic, De Blasis, Paulo Oliveira, Ramis (c) (Sergio Álvarez, min. 76), Cote, Orellana, Escalante, Jordán, Cucurella, Sergi Enrich (Kike García, min. 65) y Charles (Marc Cardona, min 85).

FC Barcelona

Cillessen, Semedo (Wagué, min. 45), Piqué, Lenglet, Alba, Vidal, Busquets (Aleñá, min. 65), Rakitic, Sergi Roberto, Malcom (Carles Pérez, min. 72) y Messi (c).

Goles

1-0, min. 19: Cucurella bate por bajo a Cillessen tras controlar cómodamente en el área. 1-1, min. 30: Messi aprovecha un gran pase de Vidal para batir a Dmitrovic con un disparo cruzado. 1-2, min. 32: Messi se planta ante el portero del Eibar y le supera con una suave vaselina. 2-2, min. 44: De Blasis supera a Cillessen tras un mal rechace del portero holandés.

Árbitro

Munuera Martínez (comité andaluz). Mostró cartulina amarilla a Ramis (min. 32), Semedo (min. 42), De Blasis (min. 43), Cote (min. 79), Jordi Alba (min. 82) y Escalante (min. 82).

Incidencias

Partido de la jornada 38 de LaLiga Santander, disputado en el estadio de Ipurua ante5.145 espectadores. Pasillo de homenaje de los jugadores del Eibar al Barça como campeón de Liga.

An experience side struggled to keep up with Eibar in the early stages. One of the first team squad who looks likely to leave is Jasper Cillessen and he won't want to see a replay of Eibar's first goal. Barça's on loan left back, Marc Cucurella, got in behind the backline after Pique had slipped. With time to weigh up his options he fired at the near post and the Dutch stopper let the ball squeeze under his body.

It was the wake up call Valverde's side needed and it was a similar person who popped up to get Barça on level terms. An incredible through ball from Arturo Vidal set Messi through and he calmly rounded the keeper before slotting it home.

Eibar were still in shock - that's the only excuse for their defending two minutes later - when a long ball from Rakitic saw Messi in one on one and this time he opted to dink it over the onrushing goalkeeper and made it 2-1 to the away side. That brace made it 36 league goals this season and his 50th across all competitions.

Barça couldn't hold on until half time though and once again, Cillessen won't have been happy with his efforts. He came rushing out to header a dangerous ball away but it fell right at the feet of De Blasis some 35 yards out. He struck it perfectly on the volley and it evaded Cillessen's finger tips to nestle in the back of the net. 2-2 at half time.

It was a tough, battling second half for Valverde and company as Eibar made life difficult for their illustrious opponents. Malcom got in behind but failed to look up before he crossed and sent it way ahead of Pique in the middle. That might have cost him an opportunity of earning a start in the Copa del Rey final next week. 

Barça turned to youth and brought on Carles Aleña and Carles Perez. Wague had come on at half time for Nelson Semedo who had taken a knock to the head when challenging for a header. All three did okay but struggled to get into the match.

The best chance of the half fell to Cucurella. Six yards out and with the whole goal to aim at he sliced widely at the ball with his right foot and it ballooned over the bar. A let off for Barça.

Arturo Vidal and Messi were the best players for the away side and, barring injury, are certain starters against Valencia. However question marks remain over a few other positions as players didn't take the chance handed to them. Not for the first time this season either.

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