Goals from Messi, Suarez, Neymar and Pedro seal a memorable 5-2 win for Barcelona over hosts Athletic Bilbao.
In a night which saw 7 goals go past goalkeepers, Barcelona emerged victorious, slotting home five of them. The score after final whistle was 5-2, in favor of the Catalans.
Barcelona with this win, has inched closer to Real Madrid at the top of the league table. Also, with 21 goals from their last five wins, the Catalans now boast of a superior goal difference than arch-rivals, Real Madrid.
The play began with Barcelona displaying sloppy footballing standards, quite odd of them. They clearly lacked formation and were either packed in a place or were spread all around. Athletic Bilbao took good advantage of a team lacking set-pieces, to attack early-on.
However, things didn’t go Bilbao’s way as Barcelona opened the scoring with a Messi free-kick deflecting into goal. The 14th minute goal eased Barcelona as they began showcasing their class.
It was not long before Luis Suarez found the back of the net with a sublime shot from 20 yards. Although Bilbao’s goalkeeper, Gorka Iraizoz got a hand to it, he couldn’t stop the blinder from Suarez going into the bottom corner of the net.
Barcelona looked poised for their first win at Bilbao in four appearances after leading 2-0 at the end of first-half.
The second-half had a lot more in store for Barca as Bilbao started a vicious attack, testing the visitors’ defence. Mikel Rico ignited hopes of a Bilbao comeback, pulling one back for the hosts in the 59th minute. But an unfortunate own-goal by Oscar De Marcos and Neymar’s brilliant strike, two goals in two minutes for Barcelona, spelled the end of road for Bilbao.
Bilbao’s in-form striker, Artiz Aduriz’s goal in the 66th minute could have been a consoler for the hosts but with Xabier Etxeita sent off in the 75th minute, reducing Bilbao to 10-men and Suarez’s replacement, Pedro scoring in the 86th minute, it turned out to be a day to forget for Athletic Bilbao.
Barcelona with the win and three valuable points are now a legitimate threat for leaders, Real Madrid who still top the league table with 54 points from 22 games. Barcelona are just one point behind Real Madrid with 53 points from 22 games.
Meanwhile, Valencia moved into fourth spot beating Espanyol 2-1 while Sevilla slipped to fifth in league standings with a 2-1 away loss to Getafe.