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Barcelona put the civil unrest back home to one side as they enjoyed a comfortable win away to Eibar with Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez all on target in the same match for the first time.
The build-up to this game was dominated by the ongoing clashes in Catalonia, sparked by protests against jail sentences handed to nine Catalan separatist leaders, and even forced Barca to change their travel plans for this match at the last minute.
However, the issues didn’t seem to affect Barca, who took the lead on 13 minutes when Griezmann took advantage of a slip from Eibar’s Pablo de Blasis to race through and open the lead.
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Barca eventually doubled their lead on 58 minutes in a move which involved all three of their frontmen.
Frenkie de Jong played the ball to Suarez before it came to Griezmann, who laid off a perfect pass to Messi and the Argentina captain did the rest.
It was 3-0 on 66 minutes when Messi unselfishly played in Suarez when the two were bearing down on Eibar goalkeeper Marko Dmitrovic, and the Uruguay international finished off into the empty net.
“These three points are very valuable as after an international break it’s difficult to play well because everyone is tired from their trips but we played very well,” Griezmann told reporters.
“We knew that they would press us high up the pitch so I told Clement [Lenglet] if he saw down the wing to play me in, and he did that. We created a lot of chances from long passes today.”
Barca were without influential defender Gerard Pique due to suspension but France defender Samuel Umtiti gave a towering performance in his first start of the season after a series of knee problems.
There was one sour note for Ernesto Valverde’s side, however, as right back Sergi Roberto had to be taken off at the start of the second half with a suspected knee injury.
The result sends Barca to the top of the table, above Real Madrid, who face Mallorca later on Saturday.
Information from Reuters was used in this report