The atmosphere was heated at the Camp Nou due to the unsatisfied crowd on the recent management by the current board of directors, which the fans showed by jeering and waving tissues. And if this was not enough, the game started a few minutes late because the VAR had technical problems, which provoked resignation chants from the spectators on President Bartomeu.
Regarding to the teams, Barcelona presented a hybrid system with a 4-3-3 on attack with Arturo Vidal on the left wing, and a 4-4-2 without the ball, while Eibar displayed on a 4-2-3-1 with midfielder Escalante on Sergio Busquets in order to not let him receive the ball. José Mendilibar´s squad came into the game having the two first clear chances through a shot by Japanese winger Inui and a header by forward Sergi Enrich that was disallowed as he was offside. The team from the Basque Country carried out a high pressure in the first minutes that forced Barcelona to make some mistakes on the pass backwards, but Eibar did not make the most out of it.
Messi, as always, made the difference and led Barcelona all the way to a new win at home right before EL Cásico next weekend. He opened the scoreboard through a brilliant run, all by himself, where he dribbled, megged central defender Arbilla, and held out to the charge by midfielder Diop to finish above keeper Dmitrovic.
Barça took control of the match quickly and killed it early thanks to another consecutive pair by Messi that gave him a hat trick without even reaching the break. The 2-0 came from a combination between the 10 and Vidal that enabled the Argentinian to make his classic run from the left to leave defenders behind and cross a perfect shot to put the second. And just a couple minutes later, THE GOAT took advantage of a deficient throw by left back Cote that ended on Messi´s feet, who gave the goal to Griezmann, but the French took a bad touch and Messi grabbed it to close his particular exhibition.
Second half was bitter as the match was decided and the two teams were aware of that. Therefore, Barcelona tried to make beautiful plays forward to keep the show going while Eibar focused on not conceding more goals and maybe make up the result.
The new sign from Barcelona Martin Braithwaite made his debut and stood out by assisting Messi for his Poker and creating the fifth one for Brazilian midfielder Arthur.
Barça (or Messi) secured the win early to add three points right before the crucial game at the Bernabéu. On the other hand, Eibar, which also have a pending game to play against Real Sociedad, can´t escape from the relegation race and will look to meet again with the win next match at home versus Levante.