Nobody can say that Luis Suarez doesn’t know how to celebrate. The Barcelona star made his debut exactly a year to the day of their clash with Eibar and he marked it with a hat-trick.
Suarez’s debut, during a 3-1 defeat by Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu was the start of a tricky period for Barcelona, but after some teething problems and a change of position, he began to thrive.
A treble followed, and he notched a personal one today. This was a trickier game than it looked on paper, with Eibar fired up and determined to maintain their unbeaten away record this season.
It didn’t happen, largely thanks to Suarez, with a little help from his illustrious colleague Neymar. No Messi, no matter.
The Argentine maestro was watching from the presedential box and he got more than he bargained for. Eibar took the lead early on, when livewire Borja Baston, on loan from Atletico, fired home.
Bravo had saved from Keko Gontan after Marc Bartra let him in, with Javier Mascherano running through treacle too. But the ball came out and the youngster, who has six goals in five games now, found the net.
Barcelona fought back and were unlucky not to be given a penalty when Neymar was hauled down in the box, trying to reach a swirling ball by Dani Alves.
Eventually Suarez pulled them level, finishing a nice team move. Sergio Busquets lofted a wonderful though-ball into the box for Sandro Ramirez, who cut it back on the volley for Suarez to head home powerfully.
Bartra made up for his earlier mistake with a good block on the line from Keko Gontan after Eibar tricked their way past Alves.
Suarez then fired Barcelona ahead early in the second half, after Neymar robbed Capa on the left and fed the Uruguayan. After Suarez set up Neymar in the Clasico a year ago, it was a nice piece of symmetry.
The connection came good once again allowing Barcelona to seal the game with a few minutes to go, but not before Mascherano was sent off. He appeared to insult the linesman and was given a red card, which enraged Barcelona.
Suarez channeled the negative energy into something positive almost immediately, controlling an excellent Neymar ball on his chest, before quickly turning to slam home his and Barcelona’s third.
Referee Carlos del Cerro Grande had lost the plot by this point, with bookings flying around at the same rate as Eibar put industrial tackles in on Barcelona’s stars, and was given an unhappy send off by supporters at the Camp Nou, whistling him down the tunnel.
The game started with a big banner celebrating freedom of expression, a dig from Barcelona at UEFA over their fine for the estelada flags, and ended in the same spirit, with the fans not holding back in expressing their feelings towards the officials.