MADRID. — A Lionel Messi-inspired Barcelona tightened their grip on the Spanish La Liga soccer title race with a comprehensive 4-0 win at Eibar on Sunday.
Atletico Madrid stayed eight points back of Barca with 10 games remaining as Fernando Torres came off the bench to score in a 3-1 win at Gary Neville’s Valencia.
Munir El Haddadi tapped home the opener from Luis Suarez’s cross before Messi doubled Barca’s advantage with a brilliant individual effort just before half-time.
Messi doubled his tally from the penalty spot before Suarez lashed home the fourth six minutes from time.
Barca’s 11th consecutive league win also stretches their record unbeaten run to 36 games.
Real Madrid remain 12 points adrift of Barca in third despite Cristiano Ronaldo’s four-goal show in a 7-1 demolition of Celta Vigo on Saturday.
“It is evident we are well-positioned in the league, but there are plenty of points to play for and meetings with direct rivals to come,” said Barca boss Luis Enrique.
“I am very happy to see the team evolve and improve without ever losing their ambition.”
El Haddadi made the most of his rare chance to start in the absence of the suspended Neymar with a simple finish at the back post eight minutes in after Messi’s brilliant pass had played in Suarez behind the Eibar defence.— AFP