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Suarez, Alba strike as Barcelona prepare for Chelsea by edging past Eibar

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde:

The Spanish giants also have their eye on a second Champions League trophy in four seasons, but they must first battle their way past Antonio Conte's Chelsea, with whom they face at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night, in what promises to be an enthralling encounter in England's capital.

The past two weekends have seen FC Barcelona cede four points in the battle for the Liga Santander title and in matchday 24 the Catalans face one of their most hard away games between now and the end of the campaign.

With the support of the positionally responsible pair of Busquets and Rakitic in midfield, the Barcelona back four are conceding far less frequently, shipping just 0.48 league goals per game compared to last season's 0.97.

Ernesto Valverde did not rest anyone and Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba scored to take them 10 points clear at the top and 31 La Liga games unbeaten. They had chance after chance in the opening 15 minutes, with Kike missing the best of them, but they lacked the quality of their opposition.

LaLiga leaders FC Barcelona earned a hard-fought 2-0 win over Eibar, to keep their unbeaten start intact, with Luis Suarez and Jordi Alba getting the goals. But a moment of brilliance by Messi was all it took to swing the match Barcelona's way.

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A lovely through ball by Sergio Busquets set-up Lionel Messi who combined with Suarez, but the Argentine hit the post after 36 minutes.

A second yellow card for Fabian Orellana in the 66th minute disrupted the rhythm and manager Jose Luis Mendilibar lost his temper.

A late Gerard Pique header ensured Valverde's side avoided a league defeat at their city neighbours but a draw cut their lead back to single figures before a supremely well-organised Getafe became the first team to stop Barca scoring in La Liga the following weekend.

The Catalan team will arrive to Eibar on Saturday on the back of two consecutive league draws, including a 0-0 stalemate at home to Getafe on Sunday. Barca's average attendance is more than 10 times that figure, while the entire population of Eibar (fewer than 30,000) would fit into Camp Nou more than three times over. During that time they have beaten third-place Valencia and embarrassed Sevilla by putting five past them last month. Their previous match trip saw the Blaugrana come from two goals down to win 4-2 at Real Sociedad - their first league triumph in the Anoeta in nine years.

Even after Orellana's red card, Eibar still posed a threat. He commented that they will be fighting for the title until the end.

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