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Athletic v Barcelona - as it happened

Pin Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona, La Liga 2020/21, 6/1/2021, matchday 2 - Official line-ups. BESOCCER
Athletic Bilbao v Barcelona, La Liga 2020/21, 6/1/2021, matchday 2 - Official line-ups. BESOCCER

Athletic v Barcelona - as it happened

Paul Singh by Paul Singh @besoccer_com - 2 8,465

Join us for live coverage of the La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona from San Mames. The match was scheduled to be played in September, but was rearranged due to Barca's participation in the Champions League final eight last season.

Marcelino's first game ends in defeat, but the hosts, despite being beaten, definitely put up a good show. Messi, with the help of Pedri, were the difference this evening. Thanks for joining us and see you again soon!
FT: A Bilbao 2-3 Barca!! All over in San Mames and it was quite an easy win for Barca, to be honest. Williams put Bilbao ahead early on, Pedri levelled and then assisted Messi to give Barca a 1-2 lead. Messi then had a goal disallowed and hit the post twice in the second half before scoring his second to make it 1-3. A Messi error allowed Muniain to pull one back at the death, but it was too late. Barca were better for most of the match and deserved the points.
Williams gets the ball back and runs into the box, Busquets dispossesses him, the ball strikes the ref and it's a drop ball for Ter Stegen as the ball is in the box.
Athletic finally get the ball back with a minute left.
Messi and Barca doing really well now to run out the clock.
Three added minutes. An uncharacteristic Messi error has brought Bilbao back into the game.
Muniain pulls one back!!! We've got a grandstand finish!!! Messi commits a howler and it's game on!! Messi inexplicably plays a lateral pass in his own half, Betenguer intercepts it, he picks out and Muniain and the '10' beats Ter Stegen!
Balenziaga's attempted cross into the box is blocked by Braithwaite and so is the second one.
Muniain, Williams and Morcillo combine to get Bilbao a corner.
Still 1-3 here and little to report in the last few minutes.
Griezmann has an effort now and it's easy for Simon.
The home side are throwing people forward, but there aren't really doing anything. A Morcillo cross now is easy for the GK.
A Bilbao sub: R Garcia is replaced by Morcillo.
Free-kick to Barca after a handball by Vencedor 40 yards from goal. The ball clearly struck him on the sleeve. He was unlucky there.
Corner kick for the home side now, but nothing comes of it.
Barca double sub: Mingueza replaces Dest. Dembele also leaves the park after a very good performance and Braithwaite comes on.
Messi has scored two goals, had another disallowed and been denied by the post twice.
Messi hits the same post again!!! Lovely combination play sees Messi's curling effort strike Simon's right hand upright. A bit lower down this time.
D Garcia has his name taken after a clear pull back on Messi to stop him getting away.
A ball into the box by Athletic is easily dealt with by the visitors.
Balenziaga finds Williams after a cut back from the by-line, but a heavy touch allows Barca to clear.
A Bilbao double sub: Berenguer and D Garcia on for De Marcos and Vesga.
Barca are playing some really good football here this evening and the Basque outfit have a tall order now to get anything from this one.
Messi strikes again!!! Another Messi goal was coming and there it is!!! Superb team play sees Messi give to Alba, he finds Griezmann in the box, who squares for Messi and the Argentine runs onto the pass and scores with the help of the crossbar.
Barca are once again better here now after that early Bilbao pressure.
Off the woodwork!!! Dembele gives to Messi 20 yards out and his curling effort strikes Simon's right hand post with some force!
Lenglet is booked for throwing a ball onto the pitch to prevent Athletic taking a quick free-kick. He's suspended for the game at Granada.
The offside is confirmed.
Messi scores, but the flag's up!!!! De Jong passes to Messi and he controls before beating Simon. It's very close, but I think it's just off.
Another Athletic attack!!! Garcia very nearly gets on the end of the cross from the far side. The hosts have come out strong again.
Williams!!!! Balenziaga's cross looks to find Williams, he can't reach it, but the Barca defender does. Corner.
Barca half-clear straight to Vencedor whose shot is deflected by Araujo on the ground and the deflection is kind for the keeper.
Griezmann looks to combine with Pedri and nothing comes of it.
Barca attack early on and Simon claims easily.
Barca get us going again here! No changes.
HT: A Bilbao 1-2 Barca!! Half-time in the Basque Country and the Catalans are leading. Williams put Bilbao ahead inside three minutes, Pedri levelled after 14 and then Barca were by far the better side. Pedri assisted Messi seven minutes before the break to give Koeman's men a deserved one goal lead at the interval. The hosts started well, but were second best for most of the half. Back for more shortly!
45+2: Barca are in control here and the Basques are looking forward to the interval.
Two extra minutes here.
Messi!! Griezmann feeds Messi and his tame effort goes wide of Simon's left hand post.
Unai Simon's positioning and Pedri's backheel are well worth looking out for if you haven't seen the goal. The backheel was sensational.
Griezmann!!!! The Frenchman is played in and Simon makes a fine stop!
That was incredible vision by Pedri, but that was also a major blunder. Not the first time he's made a big error either.
Messi scores!!! What was Simon doing??? Messi passes to Pedri, who's just onside, Simon inexplicably sprints out of his goal, Pedri backheels to Messi and the Argentine passes the ball into the empty net. Simon was completely out of position and had no chance.
Messi sends a ball in, but nothing comes of it.
Barca are clearly on top here, but Marcelino's men are looking dangerous going forward.
Muniain!! Capa crosses for Muniain at the back stick and Dest boots the ball away.
Dembele again!! His curling effort is stopped by Simon and the GK fumbles initially before recovering it.
Garcia kicks Lenglet and is penalised.
Athletic Bilbao sub: Balenziaga on for Yuri.
Yuri's done his hamstring here... He sprints to try and get past Dembele and he feels it go. That's his game over.
Pedri looks to lay off for Griezmann and Bilbao deal with it.
Vesga fouls Dembele and the cynical foul earns him a caution.
Athletic threaten again, but the ball in by Yuri can't find a teammate to tap in.
Busquets and Messi combine and his cross is well cleared away, but it's offside anyway.
Great save by Simon! Dembele plays in Alba and the Catalan's strike is very well saved for a corner.
Dembele is looking very sharp tonight and an open game always suits the team with more quality: Barca in this case.
Alba puts a ball into the box and Athletic clear it away. Barca better now.
Dembele goes for goal now and he finds the sidenetting. The flag was up though.
Dembele goes again down Bilbao's left and it's a corner for the visitors.
This game is incredibly open. There's no chance this is ending 1-1.
Pedri levels the scores for the Catalans! Messi sends a long pass forward, De Jong volleys the ball back from the by-line and Pedri heads home from six yards!
Chance for Dembele!! The Frenchman tries his luck from just outside the area and Simon dives low to his right to tip away for a corner.
Williams!!! Muniain passes to the '9' and his shot is simple for the GK.
Athletic counter and Muniain's shot is blocked by Araujo. The ball then strikes Dest's arm, but it's never a pen.
Barca attack through Messi, but nothing comes of it.
A minute's applause for a former Athletic Bilbao youngster who died in a traffic accident last week.
Dest!!!! Dembele plays in Messi, he passes back to Griezmann who lays off for Dest and the American's strike is well saved by Simon!
The home side look incredibly motivated for this one and have started terrifically.
Another chance for Athletic!!! Capa sprints down this near side, he passes it to Muniain and then Yuri hits the sidenetting with his shot!
Marcelino couldn't have asked for a better start.
Williams makes it 1-0 to the hosts!!!! What a start for the Basques! Barca lose the ball in Bilbao's half, Garcia plays in Williams who runs from halfway onto the pass, he gets into the box, he cuts inside and past Lenglet before hitting into the far corner past Ter Stegen!
A long ball forward by Williams is sent by Nunez and it's easy for the GK.
Free-kick to the hosts just inside their own half after Busquets fouls Williams.
Athletic Bilbao get us going from left to right in their usual kits! Barca in yellow.
The players are out here!
6 degrees and light drizzle in Bilbao this evening.
Athletic Bilbao also make one alteration from the 1-0 victory over Elche on Sunday. Capa starts in place of Berenguer.
Barca make just one switch from the 0-1 win over Huesca last Sunday. Griezmann comes in for Braithwaite.
Athletic go into this game with a new coach in former Valencia and Villarreal coach Marcelino after sacking Gaizka Garitano following the 1-0 victory over Elche.
9th v 5th. 21pts v 28pts. Barca will go third, only behind the two Madrids if they win here. The Basques will leapfrog Celta and Granada with three points here.
Carlos del Cerro Grande is the referee for this one while Ignacio Iglesias Villanueva is the VAR.
Barcelona XI: Ter Stegen (GK); Alba, Lenglet, Araujo, Dest; Dembele, De Jong, Pedri, Busquets, Griezmann; Messi.
Athletic Bilbao XI: Simon (GK); Yuri, I Martinez, Nunez, Capa; Muniain, Vesga, Vencedor, De Marcos; Williams and R Garcia.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of the La Liga clash between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona.
Paul Singh

Paul Singh

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