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FC Barcelona rallied back from two goals down to defeat Eibar 4-2 on the final day of the league campaign, but it was not enough to claim the title.
Luis Enrique’s men dug deep for their manager on what was his final league game and got the three points, though Real Madrid’s 2-0 win at Málaga ultimately sees the title go the way of the side from the Spanish capital.
Though it was meant to be a day all about Barça at the Camp Nou, it was the visitors who went ahead early on. A deep cross found Inui unmarked at the back post who struck the ball on the half-volley and in via the crossbar.
Barça were almost level seconds after the restart, as Luis Suárez found himself through on goal but uncharacteristically fired wide from close range.
In a similar situation to his glaring chance earlier on, Suárez was again unable to convert one-on-one with the goal at his mercy, this time denied by a top save from Yoel.
It was then Eibar’s turn to be left wondering just how they did not score, as Ter Stegen’s save from Inui’s drive fell to Peña in the six-yard box but he somehow struck wide.
Barça began the second half more purposefully, with Iniesta testing Yoel with a low drive, seconds before the captain again forced the keeper into a save with a left-footed strike.
It was beginning to look like it was not to be Barça’s day, as Suárez, again through on goal, squared to Leo Messi who then missed from inside the six-yard box.
Eibar double, but Barça rally back
That feeling was reinforced moments later as, at the other end, Inui again smashed the ball in off the cross bar to leave Barça with a mountain to climb.
Barça eventually managed to get back in the game soon after, as Messi teed up Neymar whose shot hit the post, only for it to rebound off the unfortunate David Junca to halve the deficit.
The goal changed the feeling around the stadium but Barça’s wastefulless in front of goal continued. Messi squeezed the ball through to Neymar cut inside his man inside the box but dragged his effort wide of the post.
Jordi Alba, in his attempt to strike the ball, fell in the area and Messi had the opportunity to make it all square, but another chance would go begging as Yoel made a brilliant save.
The equalizer did finally arrive, as Neymar’s corner, flicked on at the near post by Alcácer, was prodded in by Suárez.
Despite Barça’s league hopes looking ever more faint, the team rallied on and, at last, got their noses ahead. Neymar was brought down in the box and Messi, this time, made no mistake from the spot for 3-2.
Suárez, at the third one-on-one attempt, still could not get the better of Yoel late on, but Messi wrapped up the match with a fine solo goal. It was his 34th and 35th of the campaign which officially earns him the Pichichi.
It was not the fairytale ending Luis Enrique would have wished for on his last league game but the players showed their commitment to the cause with a rallying display, and his tenure could still end with silverware after next Saturday’s Copa del Rey final.
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