Enrique praises ‘irreplaceable’ Suarez

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has heaped praise on striker Luis Suarez after his hat-trick secured a 3-1 win over Eibar in La Liga on Sunday.

Unbeaten away from home before their trip to the Nou Camp, Eibar took the lead through Borja Baston but a Suarez hat-trick ensured the Catalans remained level on points with rivals Real Madrid, who toppled Celta Vigo 3-1 on Saturday, at the top of the standings.

The Uruguayan has had to step up in the absence of talisman Lionel Messi and Enrique believes Suarez is key to the club's success.

"Suarez is an irreplaceable player, even if he doesn't score, because he gives so much to the team," Enrique told the club's website.

"We found it hard to create danger from the start and that means we have to keep improving. I liked the support of the fans.

"We tried to fix the problems we had the first half. With a team like Eibar, unbeaten away from home, it's normal that we had trouble getting going. Today was tough for us. We got through the game on intensity and effectiveness."