Live Commentary: Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Bilbao - as it happened

Live Commentary: Barcelona 2-0 Bilbao - as it happened
© Getty Images
Relive Sports Mole's live commentary of the La Liga clash between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou, where the home side won 2-0.

Barcelona welcomed Athletic Bilbao to the Camp Nou on Saturday looking to maintain their 100% start to the La Liga season.

The home side had the better chances in the first period, but not could break the deadlock in Catalonia.

It was a similiar story in the second half, but Neymar won it for the home side late on with a brace.

Read how it all unfolded in Sports Mole's minute-by-minute live commentary of the action below.


Sort:
Newest
Oldest
2.31pmAfternoon all! Sports Mole's La Liga coverage continues from the Camp Nou as Barcelona welcome Athletic Bilbao in week three of Spain's top flight. It has been the perfect start for the hosts, with six points from two games leaving them top of the table. Bilbao, however, have taken three points from their first two matches. Right, before anything else, let me bring you the team news.

2.34pmTEAMS:

BARCA: Bravo; Montoya, Mathieu, Mascherano, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Munir, Messi, Pedro

BILBAO: Iraizoz; De Marcos, Laporte, Gurpegi, Balenziaga; Iturraspe, Rico, Benat; Susaeta, Muniain, Aduriz


2.37pmSo there we have it. Andres Iniesta is fit enough to return to the Barcelona XI this afternoon, while Javier Mascherano starts at centre-back alongside Jeremy Mathieu after serving his one-game suspension. Munir El-Haddadi also retains his spot in the team, with Neymar joining Xavi on the bench.

2.40pmFor Bilbao, Oscar de Marcos starts at right-back, with Markel Susaeta once again deployed as part of a forward three with Iker Muniain and Aritz Aduriz. There is also a start for Spanish midfielder Benat in the middle of the park, but Mikel San Jose and Ibai Gomez are both on the bench for the Basque outfit.

2.43pmIn terms of the recent meetings between the two sides, Barcelona have won three of the last five matches, with Bilbao also recording one win and the further clash ending in a draw. Bilbao beat Barcelona at San Mames last season, but were beaten 2-1 at the Camp Nou in April. Barcelona were also comfortable 5-1 winners in this fixture in the 2012-13 campaign. It has been a fixture dominated by the home team.

2.46pmAs touched upon, it has been the perfect start for Barcelona in La Liga. They were beaten by Atletico Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup, but started their league campaign with a 3-0 win over Elche on August 24. That was followed up by a 1-0 win at Villarreal last time out. Both Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid have already dropped points this season, placing Barcelona in early control at the top.

2.49pmIn fact, taking two friendlies into account as well, Barcelona have scored 16 goals in their last four matches and not conceded in the process. Luis Suarez is still to come into this team, while it has been a breakout couple of weeks for the likes of Munir El-Haddadi and Sandro Ramirez, both of whom have already scored for the Catalan outfit in the league this season.



2.52pmBilbao, however, started their season with a disappointing 1-0 defeat at Malaga. The Basque outfit did secure their spot in the group stages of the Champions League, however, with a sensational 4-2 aggregate win over the much-fancied Napoli. It will be interesting to see how the club juggles the league and the Champions League in the coming weeks. Little under 10 minutes until kickoff this afternoon...

2.55pmBilbao enter the match off the back of a positive result having beaten Levante 3-0 last time out. Their home form last season was excellent and it could again play a big role in their push for another top-four finish. They were unlucky to lose at the Camp Nou last season and will be looking for a similar performance.

2.57pmHave a watch at what I had to say about this match during the week...


0 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the first period. The pre-match handshakes have been undertaken and the flags have been exchanged. Can Bilbao cause a shock at the Camp Nou? Or will Barcelona make it nine points from three games? It is the home side that get the action underway in Barcelona.

2 minAs expected, Barcelona have taken control of the possession in the opening couple of minutes, with the likes of Busquets and Rakitic enjoying the ball in the middle of the park. The latter attempts to force a pass into Messi, but Bilbao regain the ball and break forward through Susaeta, who looks bright early on.

4 minExtremely bright start for Bilbao as Benat drives into the Barcelona box before chipping a cross towards Aduriz, but Bravo just does enough to clear the danger. The home side have a half-chance down the other end when Munir curls one towards the top corner from outside the box, but his effort is just too high.

6 minCHANCE! Barcelona come close to taking the lead after a swift counter which involves Messi, Munir and Montoya, but Pedro cannot beat Iraizoz after a meeting a cross from the latter. Briliant break from the home side, but it was a really smart save from the Bilbao stopper.

8 minBarcelona continue to threaten in and around the Bilbao box, with Munir more than capable of combining with Messi and Pedro in the final third. The latter attempts to move past the challenge of Laporte, but the French defender just does enough to clear. Bilbao are coming under increasing pressure in the early moments.

10 minMontoya continues to make good ground down the right for Barcelona and delivers another cross towards the far post, but Laporte is on hand to clear. The resulting corner is delivered by Rakitic, but Iturraspe clears with a powerful header. Still goalless at the Camp Nou, but Barcelona are in control of proceedings.

13 minSlightly untidy period of the match in the last couple of moments with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. Bilbao have started to put some passes together in the middle of the park, but Barcelona continue to look the more dangerous outfit in the final third of the field.

15 minHalf-chance for Bilbao as Aduriz curls a cross towards Muniain, but the Spaniard's first touch is poor and it moves out of play for a goal kick. Pedro is the target for a through pass from Munir down the other end, but the Bilbao stopper is out to collect. End-to-end football with 15 minutes on the clock in Catalonia.

17 minYou just get the feeling that Barcelona are going to need to be patient this afternoon. They continue to dominate the ball, but Bilbao are compact in defensive areas. Just a reminder that later this evening we have live commentary of Real Madrid against Atletico Madrid from 6pm UK time - be sure to join us for that.

19 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona to take the lead as Messi finds Munir with a wonderful floated pass, but the 19-year-old curls his effort high of the crossbar. What an opportunity.

21 minNot too much from Bilbao as an attacking threat in the opening 21 minutes, while they are starting to concede possession in dangerous areas. You just get the feeling that the away side need to score first this afternoon if they are to take something from the match. Still goalless at the Camp Nou.

24 minA poor pass from Montoya puts the Barcelona back four in trouble as Susaeta collects possession in a wide area before delivering into the box, but Mathieu is on hand to clear with a powerful header. Barcelona attempt to force the issue down the other end with Messi, but the Argentine cannot find the run of Pedro.

26 minAduriz wants a penalty after going down inside the Barcelona box under pressure from Mascherano, but the referee is not interested. It was clumsy from the Argentine to say the last. Bilbao continue to threaten with a cross from De Marcos, but Mathieu is again on hand to clear. Much better from the Basque outfit.

28 minAnother Barcelona attack breaks down in the final third as Pedro fails to read a pass from Messi and the ball runs out for a Bilbao goal-kick. Iturraspe is down the other end for Bilbao moments later, but the Spaniard can only curl his effort into the arms of Bravo after breaking past the challenges of two defenders.

30 minLittle over 15 minutes of the first period remaining and still Bilbao hold Barcelona. The home side have had the better of the chances, but Bilbao have also proved a threat on the counter attack at the Camp Nou.

31 minBOOKING! Aduriz goes into the book for Bilbao for a poor challenge on Mascherano.

33 minMascherano has returned to the field following a period of treatment, but Pique is warming up on the sidelines. Barcelona threaten again when Iraizoz fails to deal with a high ball inside the Bilbao box, but the referee blows for a free kick with Munir in close proximity. Generous decision for me!

35 minThe referee is becoming increasingly involved as the challenges continue to arrive in the middle of the park, but just one booking has been issued thus far. Bilbao are playing the game they need to play at the moment.

38 minBarcelona have just quickened the tempo in the last few moments with Montoya and Alba both advanced in wide areas. Messi has a half-chance after meeting a cross from Rakitic, but his header was always moving wide of the post. Can Bilbao keep out the Catalan outfit in the latter stages of the half?

39 minAnother half-chance for Barcelona as Pedro drives into the Bilbao box before rolling a low cross towards Messi, but Laporte is across to clear at the vital moment. More excellent defending.

40 minPenalty shout for Barcelona as Munir goes down inside the box under pressure from Gurpegi, but the referee is not interested. There was a slight push on the teenager, but it would have been a harsh decision.

43 minCHANCE! Another opportunity for the home side as Messi delivers a low cross into Munir, but the youngster places his effort just wide from close range. Munir has had three good chances.

45 minBarcelona continue to force the issue in the latter stages of the half, but Bilbao are breaking up the play in the middle of the park, much to the frustration of Luis Enrique. Bilbao can be pleased with their first 45 minutes at the Camp Nou there is no question about that. Still goalless in Catalonia.

45 min+1HALF-TIME: Barcelona 0-0 Bilbao

3.49pmSo there we have it. The referee brings the first period to an end with the two sides level at 0-0. Barcelona have had the better chances, with Munir coming close on three occasions. However, Bilbao have also had their moments in the final third, with Iturraspe firing their best chance into the arms of goalkeeper Bravo.

3.54pmSTATS! Barcelona have dominated the possession with 64%, while they have had six attempts - three of which have been on target. Bilbao, meanwhile, have hit the target with just one of their two attempts. It has been a fiesty half in terms of challenges, but just one card has been issued.

3.59pmBENCH WATCH! Barcelona boss Enrique has a number of attacking options on his bench this afternoon in the shape of Neymar, Xavi and Sandro Ramirez. Meanwhile, Bilbao have the likes of Ibai Gomez, Borja Viguera and Unai Lopez in reserve. Plenty of talent on both benches at the Camp Nou.

46 minHere we go then. Both sets of players join us on the pitch for the second period. You just get the feeling that the first goal - if there indeed is one and especially if it comes for Barcelona - will be vital in terms of the final result. Right, Bilbao get the second 45 minutes of action underway at the Camp Nou.

46 minSUB! Barcelona have made a change at the interval with Mascherano, who was struggling following a heavy challenge, replaced by Gerard Pique. Straight swap in central defence.

48 minConfident start to the second period from Bilbao, with the likes of Benat and Rico enjoying possession in the middle of the park. No changes from the away team at the break, which is not at all surprising.

49 minMunir has another half-chance after collecting a through pass from Rakitic, but Balenziaga just does enough on the cover to clear the danger. Neymar is being put through is paces on the sidelines and it would not be a surprise to see the Brazilian enter proceedings in the next 15 minutes or so.

51 minNot too much to report in terms of Bilbao pressure in the early moments of the half, but the away side remain tight and compact in defensive areas. It is the type of match that could be decided by one goal. Benat is lucky to escape a booking for bringing Messi to the ground in the middle of the park.

52 minGOAL DISALLOWED! Munir has the ball in the back of the net for Barcelona after meeting a low cross from Messi, but the teenager was in an offside position.

54 minCHANCE! Alba comes close to breaking the deadlock after arrowing a powerful effort towards the bottom corner, but Iraizoz is on hand to make a really smart save.

56 minStill more than 30 minutes of football remaining at the Camp Nou, but the home supporters are starting to get a little nervous that is for certain. Bilbao are not offering too much in the final third, but remain compact down the other end. Neymar and Xavi are the two obvious options on the Barcelona defence.

58 minIniesta tries his luck for Barcelona after driving to the edge of the Bilbao box, but his effort was always rising high and wide of the crossbar. Bilbao break down the right with De Marcos moments later, but the move breaks down outside the box. End-to-end football with 58 minutes on the clock.

60 minAs shown in the image below, Munir was just offside when he converted for Barcelona early this half...



62 minCHANCE! Yet another chance for Munir as the Barcelona teenager meets a cross from Alba, but his header is straight at the Bilbao goalkeeper. Munir is losing his battle with Iraizoz at the moment!

63 minBOOKING! Busquets is booked for Barcelona for a poor challenge on Muniain.

63 minSUB! Barca make their first change as Neymar replaces Munir.

63 minSUBS! Bilbao also look to their bench as Susaeta and Benat are replaced by Ibai Gomez and Unai Lopez.

65 minAlba is again involved for Barcelona as the Spaniard drives down the left before floating a cross towards Messi, but Laporte is on hand to clear. Aduriz is down the other end for Bilbao moments later, but after beating Mathieu to the ball, his effort is straight into the arms of the waiting Bravo.

67 minNeymar continues to force the issue for Barcelona after combining with Messi outside the box, but again Laporte steps out to clear at the vital moment. The pressure continues in and around the Bilbao area, but once more the danger is scrambled clear. Little over 20 minutes of football remaining at the Camp Nou.

69 minNeymar has another half-chance after beating two defenders on the left before curling one towards goal, but his effort just bent wide of the far post. Barcelona are getting closer to opening the scoring.

71 minCHANCE! Wonderful chance for Barcelona to take the lead as Neymar rolls a low cross into Messi, but somehow the Argentine lifts his effort high and wide from barely five yards out.

73 minIn fairness to Bilbao, they are not just sitting back and defending here, with Gomez and Muniain both carrying a threat on the counter attack. It is a dangerous game as Barcelona break once more with Iniesta, it eventually falls to Neymar, but his effort is blocked by Gurpegi. Still goalless.

75 minBarcelona continue to camp outside the Bilbao box, with Montoya and Alba both playing as wingers in an attempt to overload the Bilbao defence, but the away team are so well-organised. Little over 15 minutes of football remaining and Bilbao are on course for a very good result at this stage of the season.

77 minBilbao want a penalty as Muniain falls inside the Barcelona box under the challenge of two defenders, but the referee is not interested. Iniesta seemed to pick up a nasty knock in the scramble and the Spaniard is down inside his own box. Panic in the Barcelona defence once more.

79 minSUB! Barcelona make their third and final change as Sandro replaces Pedro.

79 minGOAL! Barcelona 1-0 Bilbao (Neymar)

80 minFinally Barcelona break the deadlock and it is Neymar with the goal. The Brazilian collects a through pass from Messi before rolling his effort into the bottom corner. Brilliant from the forward.

82 minBarcelona come close to scoring their second as Sandro feeds Neymar, who attempts to return the favour by sliding a pass into Messi, but Iraizoz is across to clear at the vital moment for Bilbao.

84 minSUB! Bilbao make their final change as Viguera replaces Rico.

84 minGOAL! Barcelona 2-0 Bilbao (Neymar)

85 minGame, set and match. Barcelona have their second of the match and again it is Neymar who finds the back of the net after another assist from Messi. Those two have been sensational in the last 10 minutes.

87 minBilbao just cannot deal with the Barcelona movement at the moment as the home side go in search of their third. Sandro delivers a low cross into the box, but Laporte is on hand to clear at the vital moment.

89 minBarcelona are not finished here as Montoya breaks into the Bilbao half before combining with Messi and striking one towards goal, but Gurpegi just does enough to make the block. As it stands, Barcelona will sit top of the La Liga table with nine points from their first three games of the season.

90 min+1We are into the first of three added minutes at the Camp Nou.

90 min+3Slightly untidy last couple of minutes, with the referee forced to intervene following a number of late challenges. Bilbao just want this match to end now.

90 min+3FULL-TIME: Barcelona 2-0 Bilbao

4.53pmSo there we have it. Barcelona continue their 100% start to the new season with a 2-0 win over Bilbao, who have now lost two of their three league games this season. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action. Until next time!

Luis Enrique Martinez faces the media during his official presentation as the new coach of FC Barcelona at Camp Nou on May 21, 2014
Read Next:
Preview: Barcelona vs. Athletic Bilbao
>
You May Like
Recomended from Sports Mole



Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona66002021818
2Atletico MadridAtletico6420124814
3Sevilla641173413
4Valencia6330125712
5Real Betis6402107312
6Real Madrid6321116511
7Leganes631253210
8Real Sociedad6303131309
9Levante62318809
10Getafe62228538
11Athletic Bilbao62227618
12Espanyol622279-28
13Celta Vigo621310827
14Villarreal621369-37
15Las PalmasLas Palmas6204510-56
16EibarEibar6204314-116
17GironaGirona612338-55
18Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo6114715-84
19Malaga6015414-101
20AlavesAlaves6006110-90
LIVE SCORES VIDEPRINTER
expand