The Spanish giants drew their last two league games against Espanyol (1-1) and Getafe (0-0).
Barcelona’s win saw them equal a club record of 31 matches unbeaten in La Liga, which had been set under Pep Guardiola during the 2010/11 campaign.
Paulinho almost made it 2-0 nine minutes before the break after he was picked out by Jordi Alba with a cross but his header could not find the target from inside the box.
Atletico Madrid have won their last three league games and will be looking to keep the pressure on Barca when they host Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, while champions Real Madrid visit Real Betis.
Barcelona daily Sport claimed on Friday that Iniesta, 33, has an offer to join Tianjin Quanjian in the Chinese Super League worth as much as 35 million euros ($43.5 million) per season. Eibar continued working hard in the 2nd half, they were winning corners, tackles and recovering second balls and their Serbian goalkeeper was excellent in goal.
Messi collected the ball just inside the Eibar half, and looked up before playing a crossfield pass in front of the high defensive backline to pick out Suarez on the right.
What’s more, with a free role behind Suarez, Messi has been dropping deeper to dictate his side’s general play, while also still being able to get into the kind of positions in and around the penalty area where he is lethal. “There is still a game between us and Barcelona which could change the gap and could make things even more interesting”.
The previous day, Atletico Madrid had been held by Girona and Ernesto Valverde’s side had the opportunity to increase their lead at the top to double figures, 11 points, for the first time that season.
The attendance at Ipurua on Saturday was a new club record for Eibar, with 6,760 supporters squeezing into the stadium in the valley to see the La Liga leaders come to town.
Andre Gomes, Denis Suarez and Paco Alcacer have also been left out of the trip to Eibar, but only due to technical reasons.
Mendilibar followed suit later on after lashing at the officials, for their failure to send Suarez to the stands in the same way they did to his player.
– Lionel Messi is Luis Suarez’s top assistant in all competitions for Barcelona (25 assists).
On the other hand, Barcelona has two hard away games. Although, in the same breath, the Catalans have their eye on an all important UEFA Champions League last-16 clash against Chelsea on Tuesday night.
Barcelona travel to seventh-placed Eibar on Saturday afternoon in what could pose to be a hard afternoon for the Catalan side.