Monday, April 15

Barcelona held by Eibar

Barcelona had a frustrating 1-1 draw in La Liga with Eibar on Tuesday as Lionel Messi watched from the Camp Nou stands.

The side of Ronald Koeman went into the game without Messi’s services. He earlier in the week had been granted an extended holiday break by the Dutch manager to deal with an ankle problem. After VAR awarded them a penalty, Barca had the chance to take the lead within 15 minutes.

But Martin Braithwaite skewed his spot kick wide of the target and the match remained scoreless. The hosts dominated possession, but as Barcelona keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made two solid saves. Crucial saves maintained the scoreline at 0-0 heading into half-time, it was Eibar who had the best chances.

In the second half, Barcelona fired from the gates. With an enlivened assault resulting in a pair of close misses from Ousmane Dembele and Miralem Pjanic in the first five minutes after the restart. Despite the strong start, Kike dispossessed Ronald Araujo and calmly slotted past Ter Stegen.

It was Eibar who would score first to stake the visitors to the lead just before the hour mark. Dembele made amends for an earlier miss to draw Barca level when he chipped Eibar’s Marko Dmitrovic from a fine run and assist by Junior Firpo. Philippe Coutinho limped off in the closing minutes with an apparent injury.

Barca pushed for the winner, but none came as Eibar picked up their first point at the Camp Nou in the seven matches they’ve played there. The draw means Barca have dropped nine out of 27 possible points at home this season. And they are now in sixth in the standings on 25 points from 15 games. Also seven behind Liga leaders Atletico Madrid who have two games in hand.

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