Sam MarsdenBarcelona correspondent
Lionel Messi scored twice as Spanish champions Barcelona ended the La Liga season with a2-2 design at Eibar on Sunday. Ernesto Valverde’s side ended the selling campaign 11 sure of their nearest challengers, Atletico Madrid, in a season marred by an even looking out Champions League exit to Liverpool in the semifinals that took just some of the gloss off their runaway league title clutch.
There became nothing for either group to play for on the pitch, but Messi is soundless in a stride for the European Golden Shoe. His brace took him onto 36 league goals for the season, which wants to be ample to peep him protest the prize for the third year in a row. His nearest challenger, Paris Saint-Germain’s Kylian Mbappe, has 32 and trusty one sport to head, away at Stade Reims on Friday.
It became also an proper afternoon for La Masia. Carles Perez came off the bench to grow to be the eighth Barca B player to mark their debut below Valverde this season. On the Eibar side, Marc Cucurella impressed on the left once more — as he did in opposition to Dependable Madrid earlier in the selling campaign. He is on mortgage on the Basque side from Barca, who need to take whether they’re looking out to dispute him attend next season as competition for Jordi Alba.
Jasper Cillessen made a third-consecutive league inaugurate for Barca but the Catalans will apprehension his performance would possibly well hit them in the pocket. The Dutchman wants to leave this summer season and Barca desire €30 million for him. Nonetheless, he would possibly well hang performed better with every goals and doable suitors would possibly well employ that as a bargaining instrument.
There became also extra defective news on the hurt entrance earlier than next weekend’s Copa del Rey closing in opposition to Valencia. Luis Suarez is already dominated out of that sport and Ousmane Dembele is unlikely to mark it. Arthur Melo and Philippe Coutinho are also racing in opposition to the clock to be fit. Now there are worries about Nelson Semedo, too. The becoming-attend became taken off at half-time after taking a knock to his head.
Supervisor Rating out of 10
5— Valverde picked the strongest side readily accessible looking out out some rhythm earlier than next week’s cup closing. Some would possibly well whinge that he would possibly well soundless hang given probabilities to the younger gamers — treasure Carles Alena and Riqui Puig — but his precedence, after the Champions League elimination, is making sure Barca beat Valencia and clutch a domestic double for a 2d successive season.
Participant rankings (1-10; 10=totally. Players offered after 70 minutes salvage no ranking)
GK Jasper Cillessen, 5— Made some correct saves but his performance shall be remembered for the Eibar goals. Got a hand to Cucurella’s shot but let it whisk thru his physique after which made a huge quantity of a clearance to enable Pablo de Blasis to ranking from distance.
DF Nelson Semedo, 5— Picked up an hurt in the principle half and struggled till he became taken off at half-time. Barca hang since confirmed he’s been taken to a local health heart for additional tests on a head hurt.
DF Gerard Pique, 6— Switched off once in a while in defence but didn’t leave out the probability to salvage ahead. Compelled an proper close from Marko Dmitrovic in the 2d half.
DF Clement Lenglet, 6— The pick of Barca’s attend four defensively. Caught to his assignment successfully and would possibly well soundless inaugurate the Copa del Rey closing earlier than Samuel Umtiti.
DF Jordi Alba, 6— Came across residence down the left but would possibly perhaps perhaps perhaps now not pick up his teammates in the box. Delivered some basically correct balls but with Suarez absent there became no one to salvage on the waste of them.
MF Sergio Busquets, 6— Done some good passes earlier than being taken off early in the 2d period for a breather earlier than the Copa del Rey closing.
MF Arturo Vidal, 7— Has been Barca’s totally midfielder in recent weeks. No longer trusty attributable to of the energy he brings to the group, but additionally attributable to of his capability on the ball. Produced a beautiful stride to repute up Messi’s first goal.
MF Ivan Rakitic, 6— Sloppy in possession now and then but brilliantly picked out Messi’s stride thru the heart to salvage Barca’s 2d goal.
FW Sergi Roberto, 5— Done in a extra developed position in the absence of so many attackers but became unable to present a spark in the closing third.
FW Lionel Messi, 8— Didn’t hang to be at his totally to be Barca’s totally player. Two brilliantly taken goals in three first-half minutes took his tally for the season to 50 in all competitions. Would hang had an lend a hand, too, but for a Malcom leave out.
FW Malcom, 5— After some encouraging performances earlier in the season on the uncommon times he became given minutes, he has flattered to deceive in recent weeks when taking half in extra generally. Uncared for a huge probability to mark it 3-2 in the 2d half after a vivid Messi thru ball.
DF Moussa Wague, 6— The Senegal full-attend checked out residence in the principle group once extra after coming on for Semedo on the destroy.
MF Carles Alena, 5— Unable to basically salvage fascinated by the game after replacing Busquets with 30 minutes to play.