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Primera División

  • 21 February 2011
  • • 01:30
  • • Camp Nou, Barcelona
  • Referee: Rafael Ramírez Domínguez
  • • Attendance: 83533
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Live Commentary

  • The referee blows his whistle for the last time, and Barcelona take the three points they so desperately needed! Madrid still trail by five points, but Barcelona were made to work to maintain that lead. Great, attacking match. Barcelona will feel they should have had at least one penalty, but they get the win regardless. Thankyou for following on Goal.com!
  • 90' + 3'
    Messi AGAIN coming close, cutting in from the left wing brilliantly and having a shot blocked from a tight angle.
  • 90' + 2'
    Substitution Pedro Ibrahim Afellay
  • 90' + 2'
    Messi and Alves linking again, as Messi plays a great ball to the marauding right back, whose return pass is less impressive and doesn't find Messi.
  • 90' + 1'
    Three minutes of added time to be played.
  • 90'
    Yellow Card Carlos Gurpegui
  • 90'
    Athletic break on the counter attack, but Llorente finds himself alone against three defenders, who stop him relatively easily.
  • 88'
    Messi again, firing with that dangerous left foot from just outside the box, but his shot is blocked nearly as soon as it leaves his foot.
  • 84'
    Substitution David Villa Seydou Keita
  • 84'
    Substitution Susaeta David López
  • 84'
    The Blaugrana again looking dangerous, as Iniesta tries to play a pass across goal, but can only find a defender,
  • 82'
    Messi comes close again now, running down the left and having a crack at goal, but Iraizoz makes an assured save to deny him his second!
  • 81'
    Alves has both assists in the match, but it has been Xavi who has cut the defence open both times and finding the Brazilian.
  • 78'
    Assist Daniel Alves
  • 78'
    Goal Lionel Messi
  • 78'
    GOAL! MESSI PUTS BARCELONA BACK IN THE LEAD! A great pass from Alves finds the Argentine on the near post, and he does well to flick it past a defender and the goalkeeper, and get it into the net! Great goal!
  • 75'
    Barcelona STILL pressuring, but still unable to find a way through! This time Alves breaks on the right, and obviously has limited vision, as he plays a pass straight to the defence, who are able to clear with ease.
  • 74'
    Barcelona again applying pressure, but this time it's Pedro who slips on the grass. Nobody near him, and he just falls to the ground, wasting a decent period of pressure in the process.
  • 72'
    Substitution Igor Gabilondo Muniain
  • 72'
    Iniesta plays a great ball through Los Leones' back line towards Messi, but La Pulga doesn't quite have the legs to catch up with it, and it goes for a free kick.
  • 70'
    Villa comes devastatingly close to his second, as he skins Amorebieta and tries to shoot into the bottom corner, but the effort is just wide! So close for Barcelona to take the lead again!
  • 67'
    Barcelona keeping the pressure up, as Messi breaks into the box with another great run, but the ball sits up awkwardly and when he shoots, it goes well over the bar. The Argentine has come to life now, and don't be surprised to see his name on the scoresheer at the end of the game.
  • 66'
    Maxwell nearly making an immediate impact, with some fantastic play inside the box, trying to cut the ball back for Villa, but the pass is intercepted.
  • 65'
    Substitution Javier Mascherano Maxwell
  • 62'
    That dubious decision not to award the penalty seems to have given Barca some much needed inspiration here. Passing and moving well again, and Messi is everywhere right now.
  • 58'
    Barcelona again denied a penalty shout, as Messi is brought down in the box by Javi Martinez! Absolutely incredible run inside the box by Messi, and had it not been for the foul, which it definitely was, he would probably have scored. It's been a quiet night for the Argentine, but he's never one to let people forget what he can do! Unlucky not to gain anything there!
  • 57'
    Athletic attacking again down the right wing with Toquero, but Abidal stops him well.
  • 54'
    Real Madrid will be watching on with joy right now. Should the result remain as it is, Barcelona's lead at the top of the table, which stood at seven points two weeks ago, will be cut to a mere three.
  • 52'
    Gabilondo takes the free-kick, and Pinto makes a great save in the bottom corner of the goal to deny the Basques an unlikely lead!
  • 51'
    Yellow Card Piqué
  • 51'
    Athletic win a free-kick, as Pique brought down his man, and recieves a yellow card.
  • 51'
    Just looking at the two club presidents, Rosell and Macau. Rosell looks seriously unhappy with the referee, and Macau just looks awkward. The atmospher there seems just as tense as it is on the pitch.
  • 50'
    Yellow Card Busquets
  • 50'
    Assist Fernando Llorente
  • 50'
    Penalty Goal Andoni Iraola
  • 50'
    Athletic draw level! Iraola takes the penalty, sends Pinto the wrong way, and slots it into the bottom corner. Well taken penalty.
  • 49'
    Athletic penalty! Llorente was brought down by Busquets, who picks up a yellow card. There was definite contact, but Llorente made a meal of it to gain the penalty.
  • 47'
    Iniesta goes close for Barcelona, after an astounding dribble in the box! He found himself some space on the left side, and hit a shot across goal, but it just went wide of the opposite post. Good effort nonetheless.
  • 46'
    Substitution Iturraspe Toquero
  • 46'
    Pinto forced into an easy save early on here, as Susaeta launched a long range effort to the bottom of his goal.
  • 46'
    Toquero comes on to replace Iturraspe at half time, and Athletic kick off the second half.
  • And it's half-time now! Barcelona took an early lead, and most Cules were probably expecting an absolute rout at that point, but it remains the only goal so far. Barcelona really on top, but Athletic are looking extremely dangerous on the counter. Far from a foregone conclusion, the Blaugrana will undoubtedly be made to work for three points in the second half.
  • 45' + 1'
    One minute of added time to be played.
  • 45'
    Barcelona have a good penalty shout turned down, as Pedro was pulled to the ground by his shirt! Looked like a penalty, but perhaps it is easier to agree with the referee than argue.
  • 43'
    To further analyse Messi's dip in form, there seems to be a perhaps unsurprising correlation with Barcelona's run of bad results, drawing with Sporting Gijon and losing to Arsenal. One need only look at how Barcelona look when he isn't at his best to realise just how important the little man is for them.
  • 41'
    Lionel Messi looking out of sorts again tonight. The Argentine is not in great form, and he shows it here as he tries to dribble through the defence but loses his footing, and goes down untouched. Not what we've come to expect from La Pulga.
  • 40'
    Barcelona on the attack again, as Pedro and Abidal play the ball around. The latter tries to play in a cross from the left wing, but it is far too high for Alves, and is headed out for a corner by Koikili.
  • 37'
    Athletic come close, testing Pinto for the first time! The Barcelona defence, who have been great so far, found themselves massively exposed as Gabilondo played a great cross from the left wing to Llorente. He climbed over his markers with ease, and fired a header towards goal, but Pinto was able to get across and tip it wide!
  • 36'
    Yellow Card Daniel Alves
  • 36'
    Dani Alves picks up Barcelona's first booking of the night, bringing down Koikili on the left wing.
  • 36'
    Dani Alves picks up Barcelona's first booking of the night, bringing down Koikili on the left wing.
  • 34'
    Not easy to pick a lot out of this game, Barcelona in complete control. On the rare occasion that their opponents are able to get the ball and go forward, the defence have been on hand to stop it.
  • 32'
    Yellow Card Andoni Iraola
  • 32'
    Busquets and Mascherano the real surprise performers for Barcelona tonight. Both on the field in a defensive role, but have done a brilliant job so far of picking their opportunities to attack, and doing well in the advanced positions.
  • 31'
    Villa again for Barcelona, this time having a crack from way out, and has to watch it fly well over the bar.
  • 30'
    Corner taken, and Athletic deal with it easily. Ball cleared.
  • 29'
    Pedro breaking into the box now, but he is marked fantastically, and can only play the ball off his marker for a corner.
  • 26'
    Villa goes close to getting his second! A wonderful pass from Busquets found him in the box, and he tried to chip the keeper with his weaker left foot, but it hits the crossbar and goes out. Good opportunity for the Asturian forward, who looks good value for one or two more goals in this one!
  • 25'
    Despite the early goal, Athletic are doing a great job in defence overall. Barcelona are unrelenting, but time and time again, Los Leones deny them producing a notable opportunity.
  • 24'
    Yellow Card Koikili
  • 24'
    Koikili recieves a booking for a rash challenge on Iniesta, just inside his own half,
  • 20'
    Athletic break on the counter attack after a period of pressuere from the Blaugrana forwards, as Susaeta attempts to run down the right wing, but when he tries to pass the ball to a team-mate, Barcelona are there to intercept the pass. Good defensive awareness from a side that has looked shaky in that department with Puyol's absence.
  • 18'
    Spoke too soon, as Los Leones now charge forward on the right wing, playing in a cross which Pique is able to cut out.
  • 17'
    Barcelona really on top of this game in the early minutes, not only with the goal, but also dominating the match in midfield, and troubling the defence on numerous occasions.
  • 15'
    The Blaugrana again applying massive pressure to the Athletic backline, this time Villa dribbling around in the box, but he is just about stopped from creating a chance for himself or one of his team-mates.
  • 13'
    Barcelona surging forward again now, but Messi is caught offside.
  • 11'
    Athletic come close! Llorente swung in a cross from the left wing, but the resulting header goes just wide. Pinto nearly tested early in his first league start for over two years!
  • 10'
    Athletic looking to attack through Llorente now, as he tried to dribble through Barcelona's defence, who cope easily.
  • 8'
    Almost a foolish comment, given the early goal, but this game has not had much other action so far, as it has been stopped several times for fouls.
  • 6'
    Barcelona wasting no time looking to double their lead, as Messi breaks into the box, but cannot produce an opportunity for himself.
  • 4'
    Assist Daniel Alves
  • 4'
    Goal David Villa
  • 4'
    GOAL! 1-0 Barcelona! David Villa with the goal! A great pass from Xavi found Alves in the box, who brought the keeper off his line and was able to knock the ball back to provide Villa with an easy opportunity, which he took without fuss! Great team goal!
  • 3'
    Barcelona starting the game in typical fashion, playing short passes and patiently pushing forward.
  • 1'
    Barcelona kick off the first half!
  • Hello and welcome to Goal.com's coverage of Barcelona's crucial league match against Athletic Bilbao! Absolutely vital match for Barcelona, defeat would keep them just two points ahead of Real Madrid at the top of the table!