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A problem with the link to VAR saw this match delayed by a few minutes, and Barça took a while to get going at a Camp Nou bathed in sunshine. Eibar thought they’d taken the lead from Sergi Enrich’s header in the fourth minute but the goal was correctly ruled out for offside.
After a period of sustained possession play from the hosts, Lionel Messi took matters into his own hands and slotted Barça ahead just before the quarter hour, a nutmeg taking him one-on-one with Eibar keeper, Dmitrović, before the Argentinian wrong-footed the custodian to find the net.
Messi and Eibar’s Gonzalo Escalante went close just before the half hour, with most of the play taking place in a congested midfield. A sudden burst of pace from Barça’s captain saw him motor onto Arturo Vidal’s assist and fire a low shot home for his second on 37.
Within two minutes, Messi had his hat-trick. After trying to set up Antoine Griezmann, the ball fell back to the No.10 and he again made no mistake. A magnificent double save from Dmitrović just before half-time ensured that the hosts didn’t add to the score.
At the start of the second half it was all Barça as Nélson Semedo, Ivan Rakitic and Vidal all squandered chances. Takashi Inui fired a shot on target for the visitors just after the hour, though it was straight at Marc-André ter Stegen who gathered it with ease.
Arbila found the net two minutes later but a high boot meant that they had their second goal of the afternoon ruled out.
With 20 minutes to play, Martin Braithwaite came on for his debut, replacing Antoine Griezmann. Not long afterwards the linesman’s flag gave us the third disallowed goal of the afternoon, Samuel Umtiti’s close-range effort wiped from the record this time.
Incredibly, Arturo Vidal then saw a fourth goal chalked off with eight minutes to play, as Barça continued to turn the screw. Braithwaite provided an excellent assist for Messi to bag his fourth late on, and there was still time for Arthur to complete the rout, again thanks to some great work from Barça’s new signing.