Jan 11, 2017 at 8.15pm UK at ​Camp Nou
Suarez (36'), Neymar (48' pen.), Messi (78')
Umtiti (30')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Saborit (51')
Etxeita (28'), Laporte (41'), Elustondo (73'), Benat (77'), Williams (90')

Live Commentary: Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Bilbao - as it happened

Lucas Digne in action during the Champions League game between Barcelona and Borussia Monchengladbach on December 6, 2016
© SilverHub
Relive Sports Mole's coverage as Barcelona secure a place in the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey with a 4-3 aggregate victory over Athletic Bilbao.

Barcelona welcomed Athletic Bilbao to the Camp Nou in the second leg of their Copa del Rey last-16 clash aiming to overturn a 2-1 deficit in order to reach the quarter-finals of the tournament.

Fortunately for Luis Enrique, the club's trusted strike force proved too much for the visitors, as Luis Suarez, Neymar and Lionel Messi all scored to secure safe passage into the next round.

Relive all of the action with our minute-by-minute updates below.


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7.15pmGood evening everyone and thank you for joining us as we bring you live coverage of the second leg of Barcelona's last-16 Copa del Rey clash with Athletic Bilbao.

7.16pmBarca have some work to do tonight as they bid to turnaround a 2-1 deficit from the first leg, having gone down to a nine-man Bilbao side last week.

7.17pmThis evening's visitors put in a memorable shift last time out against Luis Enrique's men, as they capitalised on some lapses in concentration in order to earn a lead. Those goals came courtesy of both Aritz Aduriz and Inaki Williams, while Lionel Messi was able to give Barca a lifeline following a standout free kick.

7.20pmBoth Raul Garcia and Ander Iturraspe will be missing here following their red cards in the first fixture. This game promises to be a fantastic encounter given the state of last week's game, which featured some aggressive tackling and a rather heated atmosphere. Some might say Barca have every right to feel a little aggrieved after they had two good penalty shouts turned down. They'll be hoping that the home advantage can help them turn this tie around.

7.21pmIt is evident that the Barcelona players have been firmly concentrated on securing something from this clash, given that a number of Enrique's charges decided not to attend the inaugural Best FIFA Football Awards in Zurich this week.

7.22pmThe hosts will be desperate to returning to winning ways on home soil. Barca are yet to win a game since the winter break after losing to Bilbao and then coming from behind to secure a last-gasp 1-1 draw with Villarreal. Again, Messi was the saviour with another outstanding free kick deep into stoppage time.

7.25pmTime for some team news now...

7.26pmBARCELONA STARTING XI: Cillessen; Rafinha, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Iniesta, Roberto; Suarez, Messi, Neymar

7.28pmBARCELONA SUBSTITUTES: Ter Stegen, Rakitic, Denis, Arda, Mascherano, Paco Alcacer, Digne

7.29pmATHLETIC BILBAO STARTING XI: Iraizoz; Boveda, Balenziaga, Laporte, Etxeita, San Jose, Benat, Eraso, Sabin Merino, Williams

7.31pmATHLETIC BILBAO SUBSTITUTES: Elustondo, Muniain, Vesga, Susaeta, Mikel Rico, Aduriz, Unai Simon

7.33pmWell then, Enrique has opted for what could be described as his strongest side. Ivan Rakitic is back on the bench, meaning that Sergi Roberto will occupy the midfield-three alongside Andres Iniesta and Sergio Busquets. As expected, Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez continue as an attacking trio for the hosts. Enrique has also been boosted by the news that number one stopper Jasper Cillessen is back in time from injury.

7.39pmAs for Ernesto Valverde's men, Bilbao too have featured a strong line-up. The visitors are obviously missing both Garcia and Iturraspe, but Javier Eraso and Benat are filling in this evening as capable replacements. Williams starts from the off tonight, although Aduriz finds himself starting on the bench despite his goal in the first leg.

7.41pmThis fixture could be an important one in relation to Barcelona's season. They've suffered from some poor lapses in concentration recently and they'll want to put things right at the soonest point possible. Securing progress into the quarter-final will be a decent way of instilling more confidence into this side as they aim to push forward for a title challenge in the second half of the season.

7.43pmBarca and Athletic have been paired together six times in this competition across nine seasons and three of those battles took place in finals. As it stands, no team other than rivals Real Madrid have knocked Barca out of the cup since 2008. Could Athletic break that rule this evening?

7.45pmBilbao might have the slight upper hand after a memorable tactical showing last week, but you must not forget that Messi was able to secure a very important away goal that could prove vital here.

7.46pmBarcelona dominated with 67 per cent possession in the first leg, but Bilbao showed their ability on the counter and were able to implement a successful game-plan with very little of the ball. The hosts on that occasion certainly proved the more industrious side, committing 20 fouls to Barca's nine.

7.51pmIt will be interesting to see how Suarez and Neymar fare in this contest. In recent weeks things haven't quite gone their way, leaving Messi to pick up the slack in the final third. There's no doubting that the pair will hit back at some point soon and it could prove destructive when it happens.

7.53pmDespite being behind in this game, Enrique has been speaking positively of his side's chances in the press. Here's what he recently told reporters, according to ESPN:

"We have to be very effective, very precise, and improve our percentage of getting out with the ball and beating their pressure. The scoreline from the first leg makes for a very attractive game.

"We are going into the game a goal down, but the fact that we scored in the first leg has given us the confidence we need to get through the tie. If we score a goal, we will be ahead on aggregate and Athletic will have to take risks. It will be difficult because of the way Athletic play and what this match means to them."


7.55pmBilbao's Williams was a standout performer last week and he has told Radio Marca that he hopes his side can get the job done at the Camp Nou: "At San Mames we played a great game and we hope that the work we did bears fruit. We're really keen to face them because they are one of the best teams in the world. It would be great for us to get through this tie."

7.58pmHere's a quick glimpse of some of the Bilbao squad gathered on the pitch a little earlier in the day:


8.00pmThe weather in Barcelona is a lot better than some places in Europe at the moment. No freezing temperatures here - it's around 12 degrees at the moment with a bit of cloud cover. We should be in for an exciting game!

8.03pmBarcelona will have to be careful tonight, if they concede more than one goal here the game will be against them. That said, a clean sheet and a one-goal margin would be enough to get them through.

8.06pmWe're just ten minutes away from the start of the game now and the ground is filling up nicely. It's already quite a colourful atmosphere inside the Camp Nou with the players doing their final warm-ups on the pitch.

8.12pmTime for me to make a prediction! Barcelona haven't had the brightest of starts to the new year, but you feel that they might just be able to turn this around - especially when playing on home soil. I'm going for a 2-0 victory for Enrique's men, with either Suarez or Neymar (or both) rediscovering their form tonight...

8.13pmThe players are now gathered in the tunnel as we await the start of the match. Remember Neymar has not scored since the middle of October. That is quite remarkable when you think about it... Enrique has shown a lot of faith in the young Brazilian. He'll undoubtedly repay that soon.

1 minKICKOFF! Here we go then, the visitors get things moving in red and white, while Barca feature in their typical claret and blue. The away side come forward at pace, but Umtiti does well to clear as the last man despite pressure from San Jose.

3 minThings have started scrappily here as both sides aim to take an early foothold. Suarez seeks to beat the offside trap and catch the Bilbao defence cold, but he can't quite time his run and the referee inevitably flags for offside.

5 minThe hosts are starting to grow into this encounter and they find some space to play in Suarez down the left channel. The forward moves clear of his marker, although his cross into Neymar is cleanly cut out by a retreating Laporte.

7 minMessi has begun to exploit the spaces out wide already and this time the playmaker finds some room on the right flank. He can't quite sort his feet out, though, leaving the chance for Etxeita to steal back possession.

9 minCLOSE! A very slight turn of pace from the home side sees Rafinha move clear inside the visitors' half. The full-back picks out a delightful ball round the back for the run of Suarez, who is thwarted by another excellent interception from Laporte. Barcelona warming up nicely...

12 minSome clever pressing from the away side allows them to win possession off Busquets before the ball is moved out wide into the custody of Sabin Merino, who turns the ball into a dangerous area. Luckily for Barca, Rafinha is able to scramble clear before Williams can pounce, although it does take the full-back the best part of two attempts to alleviate the pressure.

15 minWe've had 15 minutes of this contest and it is clear that Barca are planning on dominating much of the ball. They've enjoyed pretty much total dominance thus far. The hosts get the chance to put in a corner, but Neymar is somehow unable to clear the first man. Bilbao look to be doing much of their planned attacking on the counter here.

17 minThe Barcelona fans are urging their men already, but it's calmness personified from the hosts. Suarez comes inside of the left before picking out Iniesta. The midfielder produces a wonderful chip on the turn to try and find the run of Neymar, but Balenziaga makes a strong challenge despite almost being caught out inside the box.

20 minBilbao have offered very little going forward at present, but you get the feeling they are waiting for that one chance to spring away on the break. As expected, the home side are beginning to look nice and fluid going forward. They just haven't created that definitive opening yet. Another wave of Barca pressure comes forward, but Bilbao have enough men on the edge of the area to smother the danger.

22 minAlba has yet to feature much throughout proceedings but he now shows what he is capable of with a strong overlapping run down the left flank. His cross into the box is rather tame, however, presenting Iraizoz with the chance to come off his line and prevent the danger.

25 minCLOSE! Brilliant work from the hosts and it almost pays dividends. Suarez makes a run beyond the defence to meet a tantalising through-ball, before cutting things back to Neymar who finishes into an almost-empty net. The referee flags for offside, though, despite replays showing that Suarez might just have timed his run perfectly.

28 minBarca evidently look like the side to open the scoring here and they continue to offer more enterprise than Bilbao going forward. The visitors seemed slightly subdued, but are likely waiting to use the counter as opposed to trying to take possessional dominance of this encounter.

30 minCHANCE! Given his record in recent weeks, you might ask Messi to do a little better here. The Argentine is presented with a free kick from around 25 yards out. He gets some decent bend on the effort, but the ball sails high and wide of the frame of Iraizoz's goal. It's a hard chance to take, but who better to make something of it?

35 minGOAL! BARCELONA 1-0 ATHLETIC BILBAO (LUIZ SUAREZ)

36 minThis was sort of coming, but what a goal nonetheless! The home side push forward down the left flank where Neymar makes good progress beyond his marker. The Brazilian then picks out a wonderful chipped cross towards the back-post, where Suarez arrives to deliver a thumping finish back across the face of goal and into the far corner. Nothing the keeper could do about that one... Wonderful finishing from the Argentine.

38 minA clean sheet from here on in would see Enrique and company through, but Barca will likely want more than one - especially given that a 1-1 draw would see the visitors into the quarter-finals.

41 minMessi gets another chance to have a go from range with a free kick, but again his effort goes skywards and Bilbao breathe a sigh of relief once more.

44 minProceedings have descended into a bit of a scrap at the moment as Bilbao do their best to prevent Barcelona from taking total control inside the first half. The ball is moving about like a pinball. The hosts come close again now as Alba shows some strength before delivering to the back-post, where Laporte clears before Neymar arrives.

45 minWe're going to have one minute of additional time...

45+1 minHALF TIME: BARCELONA 1-0 ATHLETIC BILBAO

9.05pmThe referee calls a halt to an entertaining half of football at the Camp Nou and Barcelona will be very pleased with their efforts so far. They have that all-important opening goal and now find themselves in the driving seat. As it stands, Enrique and his men are going through. A couple more goals would make this a lot more comfortable for the hosts as Bilbao are still in this encounter with the aggregate score at 2-2.

9.13pmThe hosts might be two ahead here but for that controversial decision against Neymar. He might just have been onside from what the replays show, Suarez thought so too as he slipped the ball into the net. That said, Barcelona have looked in good touch and you'd probably back them to go on and get a few more here.

9.14pmYou can't write Bilbao off just yet, though, as a goal in the second half would see them through. Should Bilbao score, Barca would need at least another two to prevent the game going to extra-time.

9.16pmAthletic still have Adruiz to introduce from the bench and he could prove vital in the context of this encounter. Williams has worked hard up top, but has struggled in an attacking sense because of a lack of support. Iker Muniain is also on the sidelines too and might be a handy substitute in the second half.

9.19pmThe players have emerged for the start of the second half. We'll be back underway in just a few moments.

45 minKICKOFF! Barcelona get things moving once again. This should be an intriguing second period with both sides in with a chance to secure progression into the quarter-finals. Barcelona have the advantage, but a goal from the visitors would completely change the complexion of this match.

47 minPENALTY TO BARCELONA!

48 minGOAL! BARCELONA 2-0 ATHLETIC BILBAO (NEYMAR, PEN)

49 minAnd just as I say Bilbao have a decent chance, Barcelona break forward to earn a penalty. It's a strong run from Neymar down the left flank, where he eventually cuts inside the box before being brought down rather clumsily by Boveda, who goes down far too early. The Brazilian makes no mistake from the spot as he delays until the keeper dives and sends the ball straight down the middle.

51 minGOAL! BARCELONA 2-1 ATHLETIC BILBAO (ENRIC SABORIT)

52 minWe've got a game on our hands here! Enrique will be lived at the moment as his side concede straight after scoring. Williams is able to show some applaudable industry on the right channel, where he breaks beyond the defence to cross the ball to the far-post. Roberto can't quite get a climb on Saborit, who rises above his marker to head straight back past a stranded Cillessen.

55 minThings are hotting up and quickly... Busquets makes a total mess of his clearance and gives possession straight to Saborit on the edge of the box, but his effort is blocked on its way to goal.

57 minWe are heading for extra-time as things stand, with the scores at 3-3 on aggregate and both sides holding one away goal each. Barcelona's excellent work has been undone in a matter of minutes really. This has partially been the story of the club's season - too many lapses in concentration.

59 minCLOSE! Wonderful work from Messi who comes in from the right with a blistering run to leave Laporte stranded. He cuts the ball back into the path of Suarez across the face of goal, but somehow Bilbao are able to squeeze the ball wide for a corner.

64 minThe visitors are playing with some confidence now and they appear much changed from the side in the first half. That goal has really boosted Bilbao. We're sort of back at square one now with the scores level on aggregate.

67 minIniesta is left slightly annoyed here as he picks out a clever through-ball in-behind for the run of Alba, who reacts slightly too late and the ball runs out for a goal kick. Those two have not quite clicked tonight. It appears as though Enrique is asking his substitutes to warm-up.

69 minCHANCE! Close from the home side... Alba does well out wide where he soon finds a pass into the path of Suarez. The forward takes the ball towards the area, but his lashed effort flies wide of the post without troubling the keeper. Barcelona are growing more dominant, but they'll need to be wary of Bilbao on the break. Should the visitors score, Barca would require two more.

72 minYELLOW CARD! This is now the third yellow for Bilbao, as Elustondo goes in rashly on Neymar.

74 minBarcelona are enjoying a dominant spell in the game now as they aim to break down Bilbao to secure the next goal, which will be vital here. The visitors are standing firm, though, this time as Neymar cannot get the beating of Laporte on the edge of the box.

76 minMarvellous running from Suarez who dribbles his way through the visiting defence, that is until he is brought down on the edge of the area by Elustondo.

78 minGOAL! BARCELONA 3-1 ATHLETIC BILBAO (LUIS SUAREZ)

79 minHave a guess... This is nothing short of incredible really. Messi uses the decoys of Busquets and Iniesta in the wall to distract the keeper, before lifting his free kick up and over down into the bottom corner. What a way to potentially secure progress into the next round...

81 minBarcelona are doing their best now to see this out and it could prove an uncomfortable finish for the home fans. Should Bilbao score, Barca would need to score twice to avoid an exit.

85 minBilbao are doing all they can to assert some pressure on the Barca defence with some balls forward for Williams to chase, but he is not getting an inch at the minute. The hosts are holding firm.

89 minClever work from Williams who charges towards the area before being absolutely clattered by Pique. It should be an obvious free kick on the edge of the box for the visitors, but somehow the referee awards it to Barca. That might just be it for the away side.

90 minWe're going to have three minutes of additional time at the Camp Nou...

90+2 minA chance here for Suarez to make things comfortable for the hosts, but he skies his effort over the crossbar without troubling the keeper. He had acres of space and so much time there. Will they come to regret that?

90+3 minFULL TIME: BARCELONA 3-1 ATHLETIC BILBAO (BARCA WIN 4-3 ON AGGREGATE)

10.15pmBARCELONA REACH THE QUARTER-FINALS OF THE COPA DEL REY

10.16pmWhat a tense affair that proved to be. Plenty of goals too... In the end you have to give credit to Barcelona who fully deserved that win based on their performance this evening. They were solid at the back and appear to have rediscovered their cutting edge going forward. The one lapse after scoring the second goal might have been costly for Enrique's men, but they bounced back perfectly to take charge of the encounter. That is going to be all from me tonight, see you in the quarters!

Barcelona manager Luis Enrique speaks to the media on December 5, 2016
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