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 By Lee Roden

Luis Suarez and Neymar earn 8/10 as Barcelona beat Eibar 3-1

Luis Suarez marked the one-year anniversary of his official Barcelona debut with a true striker's performance against Eibar, scoring his second ever hat-trick for the Blaugrana to give his team a 3-1 win.

The away side had gone ahead in the first half after a Marc Bartra error resulted in Borja Baston finding the back of the net but Suarez, in combination with another stand-out performance from Neymar, gradually dragged Barca back into the game then eventually put them out of sight.

If Suarez was the perfect finisher then Neymar was the perfect creator, dribbling past opponents with ease, consistently choosing the right option with his final ball and bursting away at pace to draw fouls. Meanwhile, Sergio Busquets turned in another excellent performance in midfield, looking increasingly comfortable in a creative role.

There was a negative side to Barca's night; Bartra wasn't the only defender to make mistakes as Jordi Alba and Dani Alves both erred on the ball, while Ivan Rakitic failed to leave a meaningful mark in the middle of the pitch. In the long-term, a red card to Javier Mascherano could also prove costly depending on the length of his ban, as midfielders are light on the ground for the La Liga champions.

Game Details

Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating):

GK Claudio Bravo, 5: Did all he could to get out quickly and try to close the angle on Keko in the first phase of Eibar's opener but after stopping the initial shot, he had no chance of preventing Baston's inch-perfect follow-up. After that, he had little to do.

DF Dani Alves, 5: Not the finest night from the right-back, who committed a series of naïve losses of possession that put his team in trouble. Did at least manage to contribute occasionally in the attack, unlike Alba on the opposite flank.

DF Gerard Pique, 6: More alert than his young counterpart Bartra at centre-back, making a few important aerial interventions to kill Eibar's moves, particularly in the second half.

DF Marc Bartra, 4: Over-zealousness when stepping up to try and cut out an Eibar attack led to the opening goal for the away team, though he did make up for it somewhat with a last-ditch block to stop Keko from firing into an empty net later on in the game. Being taken off 10 minutes into the second half won't have helped his confidence.

DF Jordi Alba, 4: An invisible night from the left-back on the attacking front, while he also struggled to find his man with simple passes in his own half.

MF Javier Mascherano, 5: A game of two contrasting sides from the Argentinean. On the one hand he was excellent at cutting out danger when Barca lost the ball but on the other, he cut a laboured figure when trying to launch attacks, taking too many touches and slowing the build-up. Creates as many problems as he solves as a midfield pivot. Sent off for saying something to the assistant referee late in the second half.

MF Ivan Rakitic, 4: Not the Croatian's finest game, but he did play a role in the move that led to Barca's third goal with a nice ball to Neymar.

MF Sergio Busquets, 7: The most pro-active of Barcelona's midfielders, his great diagonal pass picking out Sandro to assist Suarez for the equaliser. A whipped low cross from the left flank gave Barca a chance to go ahead soon after, though they couldn't take it. Faultless as usual when recovering the ball.

FW Sandro Ramirez, 6: The youngster's well-timed run and volleyed cross allowed Suarez to score the equaliser and he worked hard as usual, though faded as the game progressed before being taken off in the second half.

FW Luis Suarez, 8: Led the Barcelona comeback when he laid the ball off to Busquets then spun into the Eibar box before firing home the initial equaliser. Feinted well then took a great first touch before putting Barca ahead early in the second half, and capped his hat-trick with another great take from a Neymar ball in the 84th minute.

FW Neymar, 8: Dribbled past assailants before interchanging with Suarez in the build up to Barcelona's first and when a similar run didn't come off early in the second half, his persistence resulted in recovering the ball before crossing for the Uruguayan to score. Drew fouls and caused constant problems with his quick feet. Finished the night by assisting Suarez for the centre-forward's hat-trick.


FW Munir El Haddadi, 4: On for Sandro in the 55th minute. Made some neat runs but couldn't apply the right final ball.

DF Jeremy Mathieu, 5: Replaced struggling Bartra in the 55th minute. Experienced a few problems when trying to bring the ball out from the back but at least tried to inject some energy into his team's play, making one noteworthy venture into his old territory on the left flank that drew cheers from the Camp Nou.

Lee Roden is a European football writer based in Barcelona. Follow him on Twitter: @LeeRoden89.


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