FBL-ESP-LIGA-EIBAR-BARCELONA

La Liga: Three Talking Points From Barcelona's 2-2 Draw With Eibar

La Liga champions Barcelona drew 2-2 against Eibar at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium on the final matchday, with Messi scoring a brace and consequentially his 36th goal of the season  to pull away from the Golden Boot race. 


The Blaugrana struggled to get into any sort of rhythm and watched haplessly for the first 30 minutes as the game passed them by, but their talismanic Argentine captain scored two quickfire goals to save the day again.


Here are 3 points of note from the game.

3. Cillessen's farewell does not go as planned

Dutch goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen has served Barcelona selflessly, sitting as a backup/rotational option to Marc-Andre ter Stegen, despite being in his prime years. 


As a show of honour, manager Ernesto Valverde gave him a runout in the final La Liga game and hoping for a decent farewell from the Cules. Despite making some good saves, his performance will be remembered for the Eibar goals. 


He got a good hand to Cucurella's shot but let it slip through his body and then made a mess of a clearance to allow Pablo de Blasis to score from distance. Overall, this would not have been the farewell the former Ajax captain would have expected.

2. Ipurua, threatening as ever

The Ipurua Municipal Stadium, or Estadio di Ipurua, is located well within the town limits of Gipuzkoa in Spain. One of the smallest stadiums in the top 5 European division, which can only hold a capacity of 7,100, Barcelona would have gone through a tiny recap of what it would have been for them at Anfield. 


Dubbed "little Anfield", the crowd is very close to the pitch, hence the roar of the supporters as their team spurred forward in an organised, physical fashion gets magnified on every possible instance. 


The crowd was a crucial factor for yet another top top performance from the overperforming club, who are set to finish 12th in the La Liga this season. 

1. Midfield struggles continue

Barcelona's midfield struggled at the Ipurua, not for the first time this season. With a stern and experienced three of Rakitic, Busquets and Arturo Vidal being manager Ernesto Valverde's first choice, Barcelona are devoid of any control or penetration into the final third.


An uncharacteristic through ball from the Chilean reached the rampaging Leo Messi and he scored like an expert marksman, but that's just it. There were no moves that originated from midfield or quick passing moves that ended up in an excellent scoring chance, etc. 


Barcelona are going through an identity crisis, and this midfield is at the centre of it.