Barcelona extended their unbeaten run in the league on Sunday as Lionel Messi also extended his La Liga tally to 26 in the 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou in what was the Catalans' 29th clean sheet of the season.
Barcelona scored twice through Messi
and Paco Alcacer
and hit the woodwork three times in a dominant first half of football against Athletic Bilbao but fired blanks after the break.SETTING THE SCENE
Sergio Busquets and Luis Suarez were left out against Athletic Bilbao who surprisingly benched Inaki Williams and 37-year old striker Aritz Aduriz.
Busquets was out with a broken toe and Suarez was suspended after accumulating five yellow cards, and taking their places in the Barca XI were Paulinho and Paco Alcacer.
Nelson Semedo and Denis Suarez also remained on the treatment table, so there were places in the squad for defender Yerry Mina and team B midfielder Carles Alena.
Athletic, meanwhile, dropped top scorer Aduriz for the second Liga game running, while Williams was also named as a substitute, despite the Basques having nothing else to play for following their Europa League exit in midweek.
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde who coached Athletic for four years, before succeeding Luis Enrique last summer has now had two over his former side following a 2-0 win in his first reunion with the Basques earlier in the campaign.
More to follow...