Ernesto Valverde was satisfied with Barcelona’s win against Eibar at the Ipurua stadium on Saturday, but says his side had to ‘suffer’ for the majority of the match to claim three points.

Blaugrana’s hard-fought win came after goals from Luis Suarez, who scored a well-crafted goal early on, and then Jordi Alba added a second in the last minute of the game to see off a valiant Eibar.

In the midst of the Barca goals, Eibar winger Fabian Orellana and manager Jose Luis Mendilibar had both been sent off for dissent.

The game's significance was substantial for the away side, especially after back-to-back draws against Espanyol and Getafe had left the door slightly open in the La Liga title race.


"Our objective was to win after back-to-back draws," the Barca coach told a post-match news conference. "Eibar have a way of playing which demands you play in a certain way.

"Each time we got past that first line of pressure, we could have scored because they were taking lots of risks. Everyone suffers at Ipurua, no one wins here easily. Even Atletico only won in the last minute. Tuesday's game [at Chelsea] is another story. We will try to produce a good performance.

"Today was a good test before Tuesday. We had to suffer a lot, Eibar are in good form and it was a really difficult game. Hopefully that will benefit us going into the midweek game, even though it's a different competition. Eibar pressed us a lot. They were very good.

"In the second half we struggled, we weren't able to get close to their area, but it was easier when they went down to 10 men. I don't have any problem admitting that during some phases of the game Eibar were on top, we couldn't overcome their pressing."

Barcelona's win saw them equal a club record of 31 matches unbeaten in LaLiga, which had been set under Pep Guardiola during the 2010/11 campaign.

The Catalan club's win on Saturday sees them temporarily move 10 points clear of Atletico Madrid who play Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.