Eibar 2 Barcelona 2: Two-goal Messi moves four clear of Mbappe in Golden Shoe race

Lionel Messi opened up a four-goal lead over Kylian Mbappe in the race for the Golden Shoe as a brace in a 2-2 draw with Eibar lifted the Barcelona star on to 36 LaLiga goals.

Paris Saint-Germain forward Mbappe – who has one league match still to play – scored a double against Dijon on Saturday to close in on Messi, who provided a fine response as Barca's successful LaLiga campaign drew to a close on Sunday.

Barca-owned Marc Cucurella scored against his parent club and although a Messi double had Eibar trailing by the 32nd minute, a glorious Pablo de Blasis strike saw Jasper Cillessen punished for the second time, making it 2-2 just before half-time.

Although both sides crafted chances, the second half was significantly less dramatic as proceedings petered out, bringing the 2018-19 LaLiga season to an end.

An end-to-end start benefitted Eibar and they took the lead 20 minutes in, Cucurella drilling at Cillessen and the ball squirming underneath the Dutchman.

Messi turned things around just past the half-hour mark, though, equalising with a clinical finish into the bottom-right corner after racing on to Arturo Vidal's pass.

He then produced a delicate chipped finish a minute later after breaking Eibar's offside trap and running through on goal.

But Eibar went into the break level thanks to De Blasis' spectacular effort, pouncing on Cillessen's poor headed clearance and catching him out of his goal with a gorgeous long-range volley.

The hosts looked the more threatening throughout the second period, first going close in the 52nd minute when Sergi Enrich was denied by Cillessen.

Cucurella then wasted a glorious chance nine minutes from time when he blasted over from 10 yards, meaning Eibar had to accept a draw.

 

What does it mean? Messi signs off in expected fashion

Messi has again enjoyed a stunning season. With 36 goals, there can be no doubt the Argentinian has been the main catalyst behind their success and he will likely claim the Golden Shoe award, unless Mbappe enjoys a remarkable final outing. 

Cucurella shows his worth to Barca

The young full-back – who has also played on the wing – has impressed on loan from Barca. Although he needed a helping hand from Cillessen, he got a deserved goal and was a constant energetic nuisance on the left. He will surely be of use to Ernesto Valverde next term.

Cillessen culpable

With Marc-Andre ter Stegen injured, Cillessen continued to deputise in goal. He has generally been solid in recent weeks, but at Ipurua he was at fault for both goals conceded by the champions.

What's next?

Barca still have one last game to play this season, as they prepare to face Valencia in the Copa del Rey final next Saturday.

Eibar's campaign is now over, and they will turn their attention to the transfer market. They will hope to keep Cucurella for at least another year, though Barca are expected to recall him.

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