Result: Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Bilbao

Lionel Messi
© PA Photos
Barcelona move to within six points of Real Madrid in La Liga after a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Barcelona have moved to within six points of Real Madrid in La Liga with a 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Barcelona might have taken the lead after just five minutes when Cristian Tello found Gerard Pique in the box, but he fired wide.

Thiago thought he had opened the scoring after eight minutes after fine work from Lionel Messi, but it was ruled offside.

Both sides pressed the ball in the opening stages, with Bilbao making four changes to the side that faced Schalke in the Europa League on Thursday.

Messi so nearly found the corner with a free kick after 24 minutes, before Jon Aurtenetxe cleared a Pique header off the line moments later.

Andres Iniesta was next to come close for the home side moments before the 30-minute mark, but Bilbao goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz pushed the ball wide.

Barcelona continued to attack in the latter stages of the opening period, and they found the opener five minutes before the break when Iniesta collected a Messi pass before firing home.

Bilbao entered the second period with a better purpose, but it was Barcelona who continued to look the more dangerous and Tello brought a fine save out of Iraizoz after 55 minutes.

Barcelona moved 2-0 ahead just before the hour mark when Messi converted from the spot after Tello had been felled by Javi Martinez in the area.

Chances were few and far between in the latter stages, as the home side closed out the comfortable win.

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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Athletic Bilbao00000000
2Atletico MadridAtletico00000000
3Barcelona00000000
4Celta Vigo00000000
5Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo00000000
6EibarEibar00000000
7Espanyol00000000
8Getafe00000000
9Granada00000000
10Las PalmasLas Palmas00000000
11Levante00000000
12Malaga00000000
13Rayo Vallecano00000000
14Real Betis00000000
15Real Madrid00000000
16Real Sociedad00000000
17Sevilla00000000
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon00000000
19Valencia00000000
20Villarreal00000000