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Barcelona stayed five points ahead of second-placed Atletico Madrid, which edged Levante 1-0 thanks to a penalty from Antoine Griezmann, as the league reached its midway point.

It seems odd to suggest that Philippe Coutinho is on the verge of leaving Barcelona considering he was made one of the most expensive players in football history by the Liga giants roughly 12 months ago.

"It served us to evaluate players in some tough moments, like in a LaLiga game". At the other end Eibar were showing some sparks, including a Sergi Enrich header snapped goalward that had goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen anxious. Then Sergi Roberto had an opportunity for Barca at the other end, but couldn't place his header inside the post.

There was also controversy in the final minutes of the first 45 when Coutinho went down in the area after a clash with Ruben Pena, but no call was forthcoming from referee Gil Manzano much to the dismay of the whistling Camp Nou.

Barcelona held on to their five point lead at the top of the La Liga table with to a 3-0 victory at home to Eibar, as Lionel Messi scored his 400th goal in the competition.

Barca were otherwise finding chances hard to come by, but they pieced together a move of quality to open the scoring after 18 minutes.

Since moving to France, though, he has been regularly linked with a return to Spain, previously with Real Madrid but more recently with Barcelona.

Following the return to Barcelona's starting XI and a brilliant goal, Barcelona's manager Ernesto Valverde urged Brazilian forward Philippe Coutinho to work his best to fight for his position at the Catalan club.

19' GOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Eibar: There's the opener and it has gone the way of Barcelona!

Eibar had been stubborn opponents in the first half but began to cave in after the interval, with Suarez striking again six minutes later, converting from a tight angle with the aid of a deflection off a visiting defender.


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