Defending champions Barcelona maintained the pressure on Spanish title rivals Real Madrid and Sevilla with a routine win at mid-table Eibar.

Substitute Denis Suarez, who replaced the injured Sergio Busquets, opened the scoring with a crisp 20-yard drive.

Barca increased the tempo after the break, doubling their lead when Lionel Messi cushioned in Luis Suarez’s pass.

Luis Suarez robbed defender Florian Lejeune to drill in clinically before Neymar converted an injury-time cross.

Victory moved third-placed Barca two points behind leaders Madrid, and a point adrift of Sevilla, at the halfway stage of the Spanish season.

Madrid – who edged past Malaga at the Bernabeu on Saturday – still have a game in hand on their nearest rivals though, after missing a league game in December when they took part in the Club World Cup.

 

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