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.

Nou Camp
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Real Madrid17124146163040
2Sevilla18123338221639
3Barcelona18115247173038
4Atletico MadridAtletico18104432141834
5Real Sociedad1810263025532
6Villarreal1887326121431
7Athletic Bilbao188462219328
8Celta Vigo188372932-327
9EibarEibar187562524126
10Las PalmasLas Palmas186662729-224
11Espanyol185852225-323
12AlavesAlaves185761518-322
13Malaga185672631-521
14Real Betis186392030-1021
15Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo184682328-518
16Leganes184591329-1617
17Valencia174492633-716
18Sporting GijonSporting Gijon1833121937-1812
19Granada1817101539-2410
20Osasuna1816111738-219