MADRID

The Pak Banker - - MARKETS/SPORTS -

Barcelona went 11 points clear at the top of La Liga as Lionel Messi scored twice in a com­fort­able win at Eibar. Luis Suarez was also on tar­get to take the com­bined tally for him, Messi and Ney­mar to 100 goals this sea­son in all com­pe­ti­tions.

Messi scored his 20th and 21st league goals of the sea­son as Barcelona took their un­beaten run to 36 games. Mu­nir El Had­dadi had opened the scor­ing early and Suarez got on the score­sheet in the clos­ing stages.

Barcelona took just eight min­utes to take the lead as Messi's fine, aerial pass freed Suarez and his cross was tapped home by El Had­dadi, who was deputis­ing for the sus­pended Ney­mar. Eibar missed the chance to equalise when an un­marked Gon­zalo Es­calante volleyed wide from six yards out.

The hosts were pun­ished three min­utes be­fore half-time when Messi pro­duced an ex­cel­lent, low fin­ish to dou­ble Barcelona's lead. They were awarded a penalty 15 min­utes from full-time when Ivan Ramis was pe­nalised for han­dling a Messi cross, and the Ar­gen­tine sent the spot kick down the middle to make it 3-0. Suarez added the fourth when he beat de­fender An­der Capa and scored with a low shot with six min­utes to play. Barcelona also man­aged their first clean sheet since early Fe­bru­ary as they closed out vic­tory com­fort­ably. Se­cond-placed Atletico Madrid are eight points back af­ter beat­ing Va­len­cia 3-1 in the evening game.

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