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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2Atletico MadridAtletico23163434112351
3Real Madrid23155366214550
4Villarreal23136429181145
5Sevilla2310763224837
6Athletic Bilbao2310583330335
7Celta Vigo2310583436-235
8EibarEibar239683631533
9Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2361343128331
10Malaga238692120130
11Real Sociedad2376103134-327
12Getafe2375112635-926
13Real Betis2367101631-1525
14Valencia2351082624225
15Rayo Vallecano2365123047-1723
16Sporting GijonSporting Gijon2264122436-1222
17Espanyol2364132046-2622
18Las PalmasLas Palmas2356122336-1321
19Granada2355132546-2120
20Levante2345142143-2217