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November 6, 2011
• Estadio San Mamés, Bilbao
Referee: José Luis Paradas Romero
• Attendance: 40000
Ander Herrera 20'
Piqué 80' (own goal)
L. Messi 90'+
Full time in San Mames. A terrific end to the match as a late Lionel Messi goal earns a draw for Barcelona. 2-2 and a great match. Unlucky for Athletic as the fought valiantly. Thank you for joining us on Goal.com!
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOAL FOR BARCELONA!!! Messi hits a shot but Iraizoz makes the save, Iturraspe clears the ball but only to the Argentine who passes into the corner of the empty net!! 2-2!!
Llorente chases down Mascherano right into the corner flag, and a spat ensues when Llorente leaves his foot in a little. This is playing into the hands of Athletic as they want to run down the clock.
Messi finds Villa in the inside left of the Athletic box and the substitute blasts at goal with his left foot but Iraizoz makes another good save with his feet. Athletic are holding on here!
David Villa takes the ball down brilliantly in the box, before giving the ball to Alexis Sanchez who pulls a pass to the back post for Iniesta, but the Barca midfielder blasts at goal and hits the side netting! A bad miss!
Thiago comes on for Gerard Pique now. Barcelona will now go to three at the back as they attempt to grab an equaliser. Athletic face a very tense last ten minutes!
Own Goal Piqué
GOOOOOOOAAAALLL FOR ATHLETIC BILBAO!!! A corner kick from the right hand-side and Eric Abidal kicks the ball off Llorente, and the ball hits Pique on the shin and squirms over the line, a terrible calamity!
Assist Fernando Llorente
Athletic drive forward and Muniain drives down the right wing. Corner kick for the home side and the San Mames crowd urge their team forward.
The work rate of the Athletic players has been tremendous in the match. Fernando Llorente in particular has tirelessly chased down the Barcelona defenders throughout the game.
Barcelona are patiently keeping possession at the moment with measured passes to each other. Athletic remain solid for the moment however.
David Villa comes on for Adriano now. Perhaps the Spaniard will inject some life into the match. Players will be very tired out there now so the fresh legs of Villa may prove to be dangerous for Athletic.
Yellow Card Amorebieta
Messi's free kick clips the top of the head of De Marcos and goes out for a corner kick. The resulting set-piece is easily cleared by Athletic however.
Fabregas turns sharply on the edge of the box and then goes down from the challenge of Amorebieta. Free kick just on the 18 yard line for Barca.
The match is getting cagier as the match goes on. The weather has drastically effected the quality of the play from both sides.
Yellow Card Piqué
Set-piece opportunity for Athletic but Ander's clip to the back post is cleared by Pique, and the ball finds its way all the way back to Iraizoz.
First change of the match as Xavi comes off for Alexis Sanchez. The Barcelona captain has struggled to get his passing game on the go tonight. The weather has hampered his play.
Fabregas breaks forward and gives the ball to Messi just to the right of the six yard box, but his shot goes straight into the hands of Iraizoz, who inexplicably bats the ball out for a corner kick.
Ander and Mascherano run into each other in the box and the San Mames faithful demand a penalty kick but the referee waves play on. Looked like an accidental collision.
Yellow Card Iturraspe
The ball goes into the Athletic net but Lionel Messi is flagged as offside. The Argentine was just ahead of the defence when he latched on to the lobbed pass from Fabregas.
Good turn from Cesc Fabregas on the half way line but as he darted forward he had his shirt pulled by Iturraspe, who received a booking.
The referee has whistled for a few niggling challenges in the last couple of minutes and it is interrupting the flow of the match.
Yellow Card Javi Martínez
Xavi takes a quick free kick and sends a pass just inside the box for Fabregas who digs out a cross from the byline but Iraizoz manages to dive out and clear the cross.
The second half has kicked off in Bilbao. Very interesting second 45 minutes in store.
Half time in San Mames. It is a very entertaining match here with Athletic proving to be a match to Barcelona. The second half promises to be a cracker. Join us in 15 minutes for the second 45!
Weather conditions are starting to affect the play slightly. In the last few minutes a number of passes have just caught up a tad on the turf.
Pique drives forward into the Athletic half and slips a pass down the left wing for Abidal, but the Frenchman's first time cross goes straight into the hands of Iraizoz.
A slight injury to Xavi has stopped the momentum and tempo of the match. Barcelona enjoy the break in play and regroup.
Athletic playing the ball about a bit better now. They have moved up the park and starting to build up some momentum. Barcelona just under a little pressure at the moment.
Fantastic pass through the centre of the Barcelona defence from Ander to Muniain but the youngster fluffed his shot and Valdes got down to make the save!
Athletic are having trouble retaining possession at the moment. They can't keep the ball for more than one or two passes and they are camped in their own half at the moment as a result.
Messi finds a pocket of space and scoops a ball through to Iniesta who attempts to flick the ball over Iraizoz but again the Athletic goalkeeper makes a good save with his legs.
Amorebieta takes no chances as Messi looks to latch on to a pass from Fabregas. The Athletic defender hit row Z with a clearance into the stand.
Messi drives towards the box again and attempts to thread a pass through to Iniesta but the ball is smuggled away by the Athletic defenders.
Assist Éric Abidal
Goal Cesc Fàbregas
GOOOOOOOOAAAL FOR BARCELONA!!!! Abidal finds room on the left flank and whips a ball to the back post for Fabregas who guides a header into the top right corner! 1-1!!
Yellow Card Ander Herrera
Iraizoz makes a great save! Messi takes a quick free kick from the right wing and lays the ball off for Dani Alves who blasts at goal but the Athletic keeper manages to bat it away!
Goal Ander Herrera
GOOOOOOOOAAAL FOR ATHLETIC BILBAO!!! Barcelona concede a goal for the first time in just under 900 minutes as Susaeta drives down the left wing and passes inside to Ander, who opens up his body and wonderfully side foots the ball into the top right corner! Wonderful goal!
Athletic are doing well to crowd the edge of the box, which is leaving Barca with not a lot of room to operate. Andres Iniesta resorted to a snap shot just 5 yards outside the box but it goes well over the bar.
Amorebieta bursts out of defence and plays a pass down the line for Susaeta, who's pass in to Muniain just clips off Abidal and then harmlessly into the arms of Valdes.
Good play from Athletic. Llorente holds up the ball before playing a ball into the path of Susaeta who lays the ball off for Ander who strikes with power at goal but it is right down the throat of Victor Valdes, and the Barca keeper makes a comfortable save.
Muniain links up with Susaeta down the right-hand side but the 18 year old's touch let him down as he collected the return pass, which allowed Gerard Pique to collect the ball.
Barca have kicked up a gear now, they are starting to keep hold of possession more efficiently, but Athletic continue to bravely chase the ball down.
Fantastic turn from Messi on the half way line and the Argentine goes on a tremendous run evading numerous challenges. Only a well-timed interception from Iraola stopped him from marauding into the Athletic penalty area.
Athletic are awarding Barcelona very little time on the ball at the moment, and the Barca players are having to play balls very quickly to one another.
HUUUYYYY! Tremendous interplay between Xavi and Adriano outside the Athletic box. Adriano gets into the box and drags a shot at goal but Iraizoz got down and managed to clutch the ball. Close for Barca there!
The first half has kicked off in Spain. Games between Barcelona and Athletic in recent years have been fairly tight, and tonight should be no different. There is definite quality in each side so we are in for an interesting match.
Athletic have scored just under half the amount of goals that Barca have notched up in the league so far, with 15 goals to 32.
The last time Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao met was in February, when goals from David Villa and Lionel Messi ensured a 2-1 victory for Pep Guardiola's side.
This is the starting XI of Barcelona: Valdes; Alves, Pique, Mascherano, Abidal; Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta; Cesc, Messi, Adriano.
The teams are in and this is how Athletic Bilbao will be lining up tonight: Iraizoz; Iraola, Javi Martínez, Amorebieta, Aurtenetxe; Ander Herrera, De Marcos, Iturraspe; Susaeta, Llorente, Muniain.
I'm Martin Macdonald, and I will be reporting on the match this evening. You can follow me on Twitter at @MartinMac1 so feel free to post your thoughts, feelings, and predictions on the match.
Hello, and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE coverage of the Spanish Primera Division match between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona at San Mames.
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