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Celta de Vigo
Deportivo La Coruña
April 28, 2013
• Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao
Referee: Ignacio Iglesias
• Attendance: 39750
Ander Herrera 90'
L. Messi 67'
A. Sánchez 69'
Full time in San Mames. A dramatic late equaliser from Ander Herrera earns a point for Athletic Bilbao as the Basque side draw 2-2 with Barcelona in La Liga. Markel Susaeta opened the scoring in the first half but Lionel Messi's introduction changed the match and saw him draw level, with Alexis Sanchez giving Barca the lead. However, Ander Herrera popped up to spoil the possible title party to make it 2-2. No matter the result in the Madrid derby, Barcelona cannot be crowned champions tonight! I'm Martin Macdonald, thank you for joining us on Goal.com! Now, be sure to join me for LIVE coverage of the Madrid derby!
90' + 3'
Yellow Card Óscar De Marcos
90' + 1'
That's probably deserved for the hosts!
Goal Ander Herrera
Time is running out for Athletic. It looks like Barca's last ever trip to San Mames will result in victory, if they can hold on.
Yellow Card Carlos Gurpegui
Ohhhh, how close was that?! Messi bends the set-piece round the wall but his attempt goes a foot by the post! Iraizoz was certainly scrambling to get to that!
Free kick to Barca in a great position after Messi is scythed down by Gurpegi, who earns a deserved yellow card. Can Barca kill off the match?
Good work by Oscar De Marcos. Alba picks out Pedro on the right-hand side with a fantastic cross-field pass but the Athletic man got himself back to pounced on the loose ball and mount a counterattack.
The game is getting really stretched as we approach the last 10 minutes of play. Still plenty of time for Athletic to grab a goal and send their fans home happy. If the score stays like this, and Madrid are defeated by Atletico, Barca are champions of La Liga.
Andrés Iniesta Luján
It doesn't really get any easier for Athletic as Andres Iniesta enters the fray. The World Cup winner replaces Alexis Sanchez, and doesn't receive his usual away trip applause from the home crowd. The Barca man had been involved in an altercation with Fernando Amorebieta in a previous match, and the San Mames faithful clearly haven't forgotten.
Last throw of the dice from Marcelo Bielsa. A double substitution sees Jon Aurtenetxe and Aritz Aduriz replaced by Ibai Gomez and Fernando Llorente. The Juventus-bound striker is not given a particularly good reception by the San Mames crowd.
Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
@H18Khan writes on Twitter: "Its clear that sending in half-fit Messi is the only option Barca has got to escape their troubles. Something really need to be done!"- Correct, if he were ever to get a long-term injury, they'd be in a world of trouble! Let's hope he doesn't though!
The affect that Messi has had on this game is utterly incredible. The moment he entered the pitch, there was added confidence and intensity in Barca's play.
Marcelo Bielsa reacts quickly to going a goal down by making a substitution. Mikel San Jose is replaced by young right-back, Jonas Ramalho.
Assist Lionel Messi
Goal Alexis Sánchez
GOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! UNBELIEVABLE TURNAROUND!!! Alves whips the ball high to the edge of the box and Messi nods down to Alexis, who turns sharply before squeezing a shot past Iraizoz! 2-1! Athletic are shell shocked!
Assist Thiago Alcántara
Goal Lionel Messi
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAL FOR BARCELONA!! SENSATIONAL FROM LIONEL MESSI!! GENIUS!! The Argentine picks the ball up on the edge of the box and somehow twists and turns in between the challenges, of Ander, Gurpegi, and San Jose before coolly slotting into the bottom left corner! There's no way he's injured! Frightening skill! 1-1!
Thankfully, both are okay and can continue.
Ohhhh that's a sore one! A free kick is floated into the box and Alexis and Iraizoz collide in an almighty mid-air clash and both go down. Alba put the ball out as both can receive treatment.
Poor finish from Alexis! Alves gallops down the right-hand side and reverses a cross to the back post for the Chilean, who was unbalanced and ended up sending a passback straight into the arms of the grateful Iraizoz.
Messi has been on the park just over a minute, but Barcelona already look to have more pace and tempo in the game. You can't underestimate the affect his presence has on this side.
Second change of the match from Barca, and it's a big one. Lionel Messi enters the action in place of Xavi, who has not had his best game tonight. Maybe the Argentine isn't unfit after all.
@KrishuFC writes on Twitter: "Seems Pique's defending skills went with his hair"- Maybe a bit harsh, but shall we coin a new nickname for the Barca man tonight? Samson, perhaps?
Yellow Card Adriano
ATHLETIC HIT THE BAR!! Susaeta steps up and clips a lovely free kick over the wall, but his attempt bounces off the frame of the goal and back in to play! San Jose's follows it up but sends a slid shot into the side-netting! Barca ride their luck again!
Free kick to Athletic in a very useful position. Adriano's first contribution to the match is to upend Susaeta on the edge of the area. Let's see what they can make of this.
Penalty shout for Barca!! Alexis looks to drive into the box but is shoved in the side by Borja Ekiza! There was certainly a rough nature to the challenge but the ref waves play on!
Pretty scrappy start to the second half. Neither side has really settled down since the break and the ball is being surrendered rather easily.
Athletic can take a lot of confidence from their first half display, but surely Tito Vilanova would have looked to instill some fire in the bellies of the Barca players at half time. Let's see if we see any kind of reaction from the Catalan side.
A change to report for you at half time. Eric Abidal has been withdrawn, with Adriano coming in to play at centre-half.
We are back under way at San Mames!
Half time in San Mames. Athletic go into the break with a 1-0 lead over Barcelona thanks to a close range strike from Markel Susaeta. The hosts are playing extremely well and are good value for their lead! A Champions League hangover for Barcelona perhaps? The way things are going, they won't be crowned champions tonight!
No takers for Barca! Great play from Fabregas!! Xavi floats a lovely pass out to the left-hand side and Cesc skips pas the challenge of Ekiza before curling the ball to the back post! All it needed was a touch but the attempt goes inches wide! He may have been going for goal there!
ADURIZ!! THAT LOOKED A CERTAIN GOAL!! Oscar De Marcos gets to the byline and digs out a fantastic cross to the edge of the six yard box, but the Athletic striker bullets a header over the bar under no pressure! He usually thrives on crosses like that! Barca let off the hook!
Ander is the first Athletic player to go into the book, and again it's deserved. The former Zaragoza midfielder tugged at the arm of Xavi and even ripped the captain's armband off the arm of the Barca man!
Yellow Card Ander Herrera
Superb goalkeeping from Iraizoz! Alba runs on the overlap down the left-hand side and whips a teasing cross into the box, but the Athletic 'keeper dives off his line to punch the ball away, and take out Fabregas in the process. He got some distance on that clearance!
Barca give the ball away cheaply two times in a minute. Alexis loses possession and the ball breaks to Pique, who looks to clip the ball over the Athletic defence, but his pass goes straight into the arms of Iraizoz.
@Nyakesh writes on Twitter: "Barca will have to bounce back to put smiles back on their fans faces; Athletic 1-3 Barcelona"- That's not looking too likely at the moment!
Yellow Card Cesc Fàbregas
First yellow card of the match goes to Cesc Fabregas. As La Liga rules go, any deliberate handball is an automatic booking, and in this case, it's a deserved one.
It's been a fairly limp performance by Barca so far. There's a real lack of urgency, tempo, and intensity in their passing and Athletic are looking relatively comfortable at the moment.
There's a break in play at the moment as Alves is down after coming out second best in a challenge with Aduriz. Adriano is warming up on the sidelines but it looke like his team-mate will be okay to continue.
That was coming, and a fully deserved lead it is as well!
Assist Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
GOOOOOOOOOAAAAAAAAL FOR ATHLETIC!! SAN MAMES ERUPTS!! Aduriz does a couple of stepovers as he bursts into the box before flashing a shot across goal to the back post, where Susaeta is in the right place at the right time to smash home! 1-0!!
XAVI!! Much better from Barca!! Alexis plays the ball inside to the edge of the box for his captain, who bends a shot round San Jose that looks destined to nestle in the corner but just goes the wrong side of the post!
The game has mostly been a midfield battle so far. Both sides have made ventures into the final third but their final pass, cross, or shot have been disappointing.
Just as I say that Iraizoz makes a decent save. Barca drive forward down the middle and Xavi eventually sneaks the ball out to the right of the box for Alex Song, but the Cameroonian's attempt is fairly limp and the Athletic 'keeper dives to make the easy save.
Not a lot of goalmouth action so far. Aduriz had that opportunity from close range but both goalkeepers have been relatively quiet in their respective goals, with not much to do.
San Jose rises above everyone in the box but fails to get a true connection on his header and the ball bundles into the hands of Valdes. He probably should have done better with that chance.
Susaeta gallops down the right-hand side but is unceremoniously bundles over by Alex Song down the right channel. That'll be a free kick to the hosts, which they should look to make the most out of as they have the height advantage out there.
BARCA HIT THE POST!!! Alexis turns sharply on the edge of the area and rifles a shot at goal that comes off the bottom of the woodwork! So unlucky from the Chilean! Athletic counterattack!
First attempt on goal for Barca, and it's not a particularly good one. A corner kick is floated in and Pique out-jumps Gurpegi but his header at goal goes wayward. The Athletic defender just done enough to put him off, though.
The under-pressure Barca defence beautifully play their way out of trouble as Pique, Valdes, Abidal, and Alba all combine to neatly move the ball up the park.
Dani Alves plays the ball up to Fabregas and sprints at full pace on the overlap expecting a one-two but a poor touch from the former Arsenal man gifts possession back to Athletic.
Barca haven't really started yet, though. With Messi missing tonight, who will they look for to provide a moment of magic in the final third?
Very bright start to the match from Athletic here. Of course, this will be the last ever time that the Basque side will face Barcelona at San Mames. Perhaps they want to leave for their new stadium with a victory over the probable champions under their belt.
Oooohhh inches away from Aritz Aduriz!! De Marcos drifts into the box and lashes a teasing cross along the six yard box, but the former Valencia striker fails to stretch out his leg to toe the ball in!
A mistake from Sanchez allows Susaeta to rob possession on the right wing and burst into the box, but his cross to the back post bounces off Eric Abidal and goes out for a corner kick.
Alexis Sanchez and Jordi Alba cleverly link-up with a neat one-two on the left-hand side before the former Valencia man is fouled. Free kick to Barca which Xavi will take.
We are under way at San Mames!
The whole world will be wondering how Barcelona will react after their 4-0 drubbing in the Champions League semi-final. They need to dust themselves off quickly, there's a title needs winning!
However, Barca have won just one of their last six away games in all competitions.
Athletic Bilbao have only won three of their last 10 matches in La Liga and their last home win over Barca was a 3-1 success in May 2006.
Some form starts as we approach kick off...
Don't forget to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match on to Twitter. You can follow Goal.com International at @goal_intl and you can follow yours truly at @MartinMac1. Get those comments in!
No Lionel Messi tonight then. Was he unfit to play against Bayern Munich in the Champions League after all?
Barcelona (4-3-3): Valdes; Dani Alves, Pique, Abidal, Jordi Alba; Xavi, Thiago, Song; Alexis, Cesc, Pedro.
Athletic (4-3-3): Iraizoz; Iraola, Ekiza, San Jose, Aurtenetxe; Gurpegi, Herrera, De Marcos; Susaeta, Aduriz, Muniain.
If Barcelona can claim victory against Marcelo Bielsa's men, and Atletico Madrid defeat Real Madrid in the derby, then the Catalan side will be crowned champions this evening.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I'll be taking you through the action of a La Liga double header tonight.
Good evening folks! Welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division clash between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona at San Mames!
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