Lionel Messi and Paulinho fire Barcelona past Athletic Bilbao
Athletic Bilbao 0 - 2 Barcelona

Lionel Messi and Paulinho fire Barcelona past Athletic Bilbao

28/10/2017

Lionel Messi and Paulinho hit the target as Barcelona crept past Athletic Bilbao to maintain their four-point lead in La Liga.

Messi started and finished a move in the 36th minute to score his 12th league goal of the season, but Barca were flattered by Paulinho's injury-time tap-in after a hard-fought evening at San Mames.

Both sides struck the woodwork, Messi and Paulinho for Barca and Raul Garcia for the hosts, while Marc-Andre ter Stegen made a couple of vital saves to preserve the points.

As well as strengthening his side's grasp on top spot, the result was also Ernesto Valverde's first as a visitor to the club he represented with distinction as player and manager for many years.

Aside from one Messi drive at goal, it was Bilbao who enjoyed the better of the first 20 minutes.

Inigo Lekue and Garcia came together well with a quick one-two, the latter's eventual shot blocked by Samuel Umtiti amid appeals for handball.

Inaki Williams and Aritz Aduriz were next to worry Barca, only for the veteran's soft header to release the pressure.

Aduriz missed an even better chance when Jordi Alba played him on as he went through on goal, blinking first as Ter Stegen stood tall then dropped to save a modest shot.

The visitors replied instantly, Luis Suarez combining with a marauding Messi before the Argentinean skipped round Kepa. A goal seemed a certainty but Messi allowed the angle to get the best of him and sent his shot against the outside of the post.

Remarkably, Messi has now been denied by the woodwork 10 times this season.

That merely proved his warning shot, though, and he made no such mistake when his next chance arrived.

Messi was involved early, feeding Alba from a deep position and charging towards the box. By the time he arrived the ball had too, and a clinical first-time finish was close behind.

Paulinho should have doubled the lead before half-time after Messi's pass, but the midfielder's shot clattered the crossbar.

The frame was shaking again in the 53rd minute, Bilbao unfortunate this time as Garcia rose highest to meet an Ander Iturraspe's corner.

Williams was continuing to cause problems for Barca, using a heady mix of pace and single-mindedness, but his production line of crosses was lacking a willing finisher.

Barca would have been eager to ease the tension with another goal but it refused to come, Unai Nunez making a well-judged sliding block just as Andre Gomes prepared to pull the trigger.

Nunez, who had earlier required treatment after taking an accidental blow to the head, was on hand again when Suarez launched a fierce shot at goal.

Barca were far from water tight at the other end, Inigo Cordoba stretching to reach another Williams ball but not managing to keep his shot down.

Ter Stegan pulled off his best work of the night with five minutes left, showing off stunning reactions to beat Aduriz's header back after he was left unmarked at a corner.

Bilbao were then punished in the final seconds in a Messi-led break. Suarez's shot was parried by Kepa but only as far as Paulinho, who clipped into the unguarded net.

Related news

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia

Champions Barcelona's domestic strife continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia in an absorbing La Liga game on Sunday, with Lionel Messi again coming to their rescue by equalising with an 11th goal in 10 games this season.

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late

Atletico Madrid defeated Real Betis 1-0 in a tight game on Sunday through a second-half strike from forward Angel Correa as coach Diego Simeone's substitutions paid off.

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis

Sevilla moved provisionally top of La Liga by beating visitors Celta Vigo 2-1 on Sunday for a fourth straight victory that saw them climb above Atletico Madrid, who had led the table for a couple of hours after a 1-0 home win over over Real Betis.

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves

Manu Garcia scored a last-minute winner as Deportivo AlavГ©s beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Mendizorroza in La Liga.

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid missed the chance to go two points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga as they drew 0-0 with Atletico Madrid on Saturday in an edgy, but entertaining, local derby in which the outstanding players were the two goalkeepers.

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi

Barcelona's run of poor form continued following a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid

Real Madrid crashed and burned in a 3-0 defeat at a rampant Sevilla on Wednesday, losing for the first time in La Liga under coach Julen Lopetegui and missing the chance to capitalise on Barcelona's shock 2-1 defeat at Leganes.

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes

La Liga leaders Barcelona slumped to a shock first loss of the season on Wednesday, suffering a 2-1 defeat at struggling Leganes after conceding twice in two second-half minutes as coach Ernesto Valverde's squad rotation backfired.

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby

First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Partey and Koke helped a resurgent Atletico Madrid secure a 3-0 home victory over Huesca in La Liga on Tuesday.

RELATED NEWS

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia
Valencia 1 - 1 Barcelona

Lionel Messi's super strike not enough as Barcelona draw at Valencia

Champions Barcelona's domestic strife continued as they were held to a 1-1 draw at Valencia in an absorbing La Liga game on Sunday, with Lionel Messi again coming to their rescue by equalising with an 11th goal in 10 games this season.

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late
Atletico Madrid 1 - 0 Real Betis

Angel Correa strikes as Atletico Madrid hold off Real Betis late

Atletico Madrid defeated Real Betis 1-0 in a tight game on Sunday through a second-half strike from forward Angel Correa as coach Diego Simeone's substitutions paid off.

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis
Sevilla 2 - 1 Celta

Sevilla go top with Celta win, Atletico subs see off Betis

Sevilla moved provisionally top of La Liga by beating visitors Celta Vigo 2-1 on Sunday for a fourth straight victory that saw them climb above Atletico Madrid, who had led the table for a couple of hours after a 1-0 home win over over Real Betis.

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves
Alaves 1 - 0 Real Madrid

Real Madrid goalless again in shock loss to Alaves

Manu Garcia scored a last-minute winner as Deportivo AlavГ©s beat Real Madrid 1-0 at the Mendizorroza in La Liga.

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid
Real Madrid 0 - 0 Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid's Gareth Bale limps off during derby draw with Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid missed the chance to go two points clear of Barcelona at the top of La Liga as they drew 0-0 with Atletico Madrid on Saturday in an edgy, but entertaining, local derby in which the outstanding players were the two goalkeepers.

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi
Barcelona 1 - 1 Athletic Bilbao

Barcelona held by Athletic Bilbao as Ernesto Valverde defends decision to bench Lionel Messi

Barcelona's run of poor form continued following a surprise 1-1 draw at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid
Sevilla 3 - 0 Real Madrid

Andre Silva's brace gives Sevilla emphatic win over Real Madrid

Real Madrid crashed and burned in a 3-0 defeat at a rampant Sevilla on Wednesday, losing for the first time in La Liga under coach Julen Lopetegui and missing the chance to capitalise on Barcelona's shock 2-1 defeat at Leganes.

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes
Leganes 2 - 1 Barcelona

Barcelona drop first game of La Liga season in shock defeat to Leganes

La Liga leaders Barcelona slumped to a shock first loss of the season on Wednesday, suffering a 2-1 defeat at struggling Leganes after conceding twice in two second-half minutes as coach Ernesto Valverde's squad rotation backfired.

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby
Atletico Madrid 3 - 0 Huesca

Atletico Madrid ease to comfortable win over Huesca ahead of weekend derby

First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann, Thomas Partey and Koke helped a resurgent Atletico Madrid secure a 3-0 home victory over Huesca in La Liga on Tuesday.

20/10/2018
01:00 | Charlotte Hornets vs Orlando Magic
01:30 | New York Knicks vs Brooklyn Nets
02:00 | Boston Celtics vs Toronto Raptors
02:00 | Atlanta Hawks vs Memphis Grizzlies
02:00 | Cleveland Cavaliers vs Minnesota Timberwolves
02:00 | Sacramento Kings vs New Orleans Pelicans
02:30 | Indiana Pacers vs Milwaukee Bucks
04:30 | Golden State Warriors vs Utah Jazz
04:30 | Oklahoma City Thunder vs LA Clippers
08:10 | MotoGP - Grand Prix of Japan - Qualifying
10:00 | ATP 250 - Moscow
10:00 | ATP 250 - Antwerp
10:00 | ATP 250 - Stockholm
10:00 | WTA - Moscow
13:00 | Real Madrid - Levante
13:00 | Real Madrid - Levante
13:30 | Chelsea - Manchester United
15:00 | Roma - SPAL
15:30 | Bayer Leverkusen - Hannover 96
15:30 | Stuttgart - Borussia Dortmund
15:30 | Wolfsburg - Bayern Munich
16:00 | Manchester City - Burnley
16:00 | West Ham United - Tottenham Hotspur
16:00 | Brentford - Bristol City
16:15 | Valencia - Leganes
17:00 | PSG - Amiens
18:00 | Juventus - Genoa
18:30 | Derby County - Sheffield United
18:30 | Villarreal - Atletico Madrid
18:30 | Huddersfield Town - Liverpool
18:30 | Schalke 04 - Werder Bremen
20:00 | Strasbourg - Monaco
20:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix - Free Practice 3
20:30 | Udinese - Napoli
20:45 | Barcelona - Sevilla
23:00 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix - Qualifying
21/10/2018
08:00 | MotoGP - Grand Prix of Japan
10:00 | ATP 250 - Moscow
10:00 | ATP 250 - Antwerp
10:00 | ATP 250 - Stockholm
10:00 | WTA - Moscow
15:00 | Parma - Lazio
18:00 | Fiorentina - Cagliari
20:10 | Formula 1 - United States Grand Prix
20:30 | Inter Milan v AC Milan
21:00 | Nice - Olympique Marseille
22/10/2018
10:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna
10:00 | ATP 500 - Basel
20:30 | Sampdoria - Sassuolo
21:00 | Arsenal - Leicester City
23/10/2018
10:00 | ATP 500 - Vienna
10:00 | ATP 500 - Basel
18:55 | AEK Athens - Bayern Munich
18:55 | Young Boys - Valencia
21:00 | Ajax - Benfica
21:00 | Hoffenheim - Olympique Lyon
21:00 | Shakhtar Donetsk - Manchester City
21:00 | Roma - CSKA Moskva
21:00 | Real Madrid - Viktoria Plzen
21:00 | Manchester United - Juventus
DERBY OF THE WEEK
Chelsea - Manchester United
Derby of the week
13:30
20/10/2018
Derby of the week
W 1.66    
   W 5.00
The odds are correct at the time of publishing
10:00 08-10-2018 and are subject to change
Football Live Scores
Tennis Live Scores