A solitary goal from Ivan Rakitic in the second half gave Barcelona the three points against Athletic Club (1-0) at the Camp Nou, a result that allows the blaugrana to regain leadership provisionally pending the match this Wednesday will play Real Madrid.
In a meeting accomplished, and with little rhythm, the locals took 71 minutes to open the tin with a bit of Croatian, arriving from second line, finished off at the net a ball dead inside the area of the rojiblanco team.
After this result, Barça sum 68 points, three more than Real Madrid, if you want to recover the leadership, must win this Wednesday at Mallorca.
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The argentine Lionel Messi, who this Wednesday will turn 33, failed to reach the goal of 700 in his career.
Despite the victory, looks bad this Club. Without power, without spirit, without soul. And without the shelter of the Camp Nou. Although who knows if, as is the team Setién, play behind closed doors in their own stadium and save the whistles of their fans is a painkiller to so much depression.
The hosts had the possession but not had concerns about an Athletic that was enough to close the interior corridors and give away the bands, has this day, only move a certain indolence of the side catalans.
The recipe nor is it a genius tactic, or carry the firmae exclusive of Garitano. In reality is that, today, a kitchen any team that is in front of this inoperative Club. The catalans are not even put to the test to Unai Simón in the first half. A shot too cross from Luis Suárez before the quarter of an hour and shot Messi sent, perhaps of pure rage and helplessness, the fifth amphitheatre of the stadium at the stroke of halftime was all the flow offensive of the box Catalan.
Unai Simón blocked a shot close range header from Griezmann at the start of the second half. Was more in the Barcelona and the Athletic, something more demanded, he was forced to take a step back. Setién finally decided to move the bench and injected some energy and dynamism to the team, first with Riqui Puig and later with Ansu Fati.
The young tip of the hispano-guinean, which was relieved to a new nondescript Griezmann had the first nothing more enter: a header that went above the crossbar. Remaining twenty-five minutes to the end, and the Barcelona went to the party. He did so with little clarity, little inspiration and even less success, but at least with more desire than your opponent.
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And the 1-0 came almost by inertia. A local attack badly finished off by Arturo Vidal and Messi do not get resolve in the reject ended up in the boots of Rakitic who, breaking from the second line, fusilaba Unai Simon.