Messi scores twice as Champions Barcelona draw at Eibar

Written By: BBC/Muraya Kamunde


Lionel Messi scored two goals in two minutes but champions Barcelona had to settle for a draw against an impressive Eibar side in the final La Liga match of the season.

Marc Cucurella, on loan from Barcelona, grabbed the home side’s opener when his low shot beat Jasper Cillessen.

Messi fired in the equaliser from a tight angle before he clipped his second past Marco Dmitrovic.

Pablo de Blasis equalised just before the break with a superb 20-yard strike.

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The Argentine was as impressive as his compatriot Messi in an entertaining conclusion to the 2018-19 campaign.

Aside from the two goals, Barcelona rarely troubled Eibar’s keeper, although Messi should have tested the Serb with a late effort from 15 yards that sailed over the bar.

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Dutchman Cillessen had a busier time at the other end and did well to block shots from Charles and Sergi Enrich.

Cucurella also had a golden opportunity to score his second late in the game, but he blazed over from only six yards out.

Barcelona – who finished on 87 points, 11 more than second-placed Atletico Madrid – will now prepare for next Saturday’s Copa del Rey final against Valencia in Seville.

Meanwhile, Unused substitute Gareth Bale walked off without acknowledging the home support after Real Madrid’s final La Liga match this season ended in a dismal defeat by Real Betis.

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Speculation over the future of the 29-year-old, who joined for a club record £85m in 2013, has intensified this season with reports suggesting he is set to leave the Bernabeu.

Real finished third with 68 points – their worst total since 2001-02.

Loron Moron and Jese scored for Betis.

This latest defeat was Real’s 12th in the league this season, the first time that has happened since the 1998-99 campaign.

Real finished eight points behind runners-up Atletico Madrid and are 18 adrift of champions Barcelona, who visit face Eibar later on Sunday.

Zinedine Zidane, who returned to the Bernabeu in March to become Real’s third coach of the season, explained why he chose not to field Bale.

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The Frenchman said: “I’m sorry he didn’t get to play, but no-one knows what will happen.

“If I think a player doesn’t fit in the team, I have to do what I think works best. No-one can change what Bale has done for the team, but as a coach, I have to live in the present.”

Asked about the future of Bale and keeper Keylor Navas, who has also been linked with a move away, he added: “I don’t know if it’s the last game for them or not. I don’t know what’s going to happen.

“Keylor played well but we’ll see what happens next season.”


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