Ivan Rakitic scored the only objective as Barcelona ran out 1-0 winners over Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.
Barcelona continued their one hundred per cent start for the new LaLiga season using a 1-0 win more than Athletic Bilbao at San Mames.
Ivan Rakitic’s headed first-half goal earned Barcelona a sixth consecutive league victory over Athletic, who’re with out a point right after their initially two games from the season.
Ernesto Valverde’s men have been attempting to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to Sporting Gijon within the opening game of your season, but Barcelona got the far better of them on a rainy evening in Bilbao.
The result helped Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen banish the memory of a 4-0 defeat at San Mames in last season’s Spanish Supercup – a evening when inquiries have been raised about his suitability for the club’s quantity one particular jersey.
The German will now compete with Jasper Cillessen, who arrived from Ajax final week, for the gloves following Claudio Bravo’s move to Manchester City.
A single misplaced first-half pass aside, Ter Stegen came by means of the test and Barcelona’s steely defending and sumptuous attacking play ensured all 3 points went back with them to Catalonia.
Lionel Messi’s early break down the appropriate wing launched a sweeping move that ended in Denis Suarez lofting a shot over the crossbar in the edge with the box as Barcelona started brightly.
But Athletic swiftly dulled their visitors’ edge along with a woeful pass out of the box from Ter Stegen permitted Benat to gather the ball and fire in a fierce shot, the keeper having to react promptly to block the effort with his arm.
Ter Stegen produced amends shortly just after, saving properly from Inaki Williams when the difficult forward flashed the ball dangerously across the face of target.
Barcelona had been forced to play counter-attacking football and they did so adeptly, taking the lead immediately after 21 minutes when Luis Suarez fed Arda Turan, who broke in to the box and sent more than a pin-point cross that Rakitic could not fail to score from using a close-range header.
Heavy rain in Bilbao slowed the pace on the game and Barcelona started to dominate possession and play flowing football, piecing together passing moves that left Athletic ball-watching.
Samuel Umtiti fired a shot more than the crossbar from a Messi free-kick, while at the other end Ter Stegen saved simply from Aritz Aduriz and Benat, however the half ended with Barcelona within the ascendancy and Turan must have scored when he side-footed wide just prior to the break.
Barcelona continued to threaten soon after half-time, and Luis Suarez teed up Messi for any shot that flashed within inches of Gorka Iraizoz’s post.
Moments later Sergi Roberto released Rakitic, who crossed to Luis Suarez and also the Uruguayan volleyed just wide with only Iraizoz to beat.
Athletic introduced midfielder Raul Garcia and he had an quick effect, firing a shot just wide before setting up Williams for an attempt that Ter Stegen saved well.
Delightful link-up play amongst Turan and Luis Suarez produced time and space for Messi to shoot with 20 minutes remaining, only for the Argentine to blaze his shot uncharacteristically more than the crossbar.
The final word pretty much fell to Luis Suarez, who was sent racing clear by Roberto and he beat Eneko Boveda and Aymeric Laporte prior to firing higher and wide.
Together with the final possibility of an entertaining, end-to-end encounter, the former Liverpool man then had a shot cleared off the line from a counter-attack when it appeared less complicated to score.