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2 - 1
L. Messi (52)
San Mamés Barria
Athletic Club v Barcelona Live Commentary,
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2 - 1
2 - 0
1 - 0
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
What a match. The referee brings things to a close as Athletic hold on for a 2-1 win, which they really had to dig in for. The hosts saw two men sent off in the second half and spent much of it desperately clinging on, but they succeeded in the end. There's a kicker, though. It all yet be for nothing as they still have to go to Camp Nou for the second leg.
90' + 5'
90' + 4'
ATHLETIC ESCAPE! The Barca corner causes havoc and the ball falls kindly for Messi, whose right-footed effort crashes against the post and Alba squirms the rebound wide.
90' + 3'
Final throw of the dice for Barca now, as Etxeita puts a cross behind for a corner.
90' + 2'
That's awful from Pique. The defender trudges forward and tries to pick out Neymar on the left and his pass goes straight out for a throw. Luis Enrique is exasperated.
90' + 1'
Roberto smashes a low ball into the danger zone towards Suarez, but Etxeita is there again to hack away.
Three minutes will be added on here. It's all Barca and Athletic are hanging on desperately.
It's all Barca, but Athletic are given a rare chance to break forward and get some respite. San Jose loses possession, though, and Barca are back on the front foot.
Second Barca change now. Alcacer replaces Umtiti in an attacking switch.
A chance for Barca now, as Suarez is released in behind the defence. The ball sits up nicely for him and he attempts to lob Iraizoz, but the keeper back-pedals quick enough and plucks it from the sky.
A final Athletic change now, as Elustondo comes on for Williams. It's really backs to the wall now for the hosts.
Messi's free-kick is clipped in and causes havoc. Eventually Balenziaga blocks a Neymar cross behind for a corner. In the midst of all that Umtiti is on the floor again. Replays show he is guilty of throwing an elbow into San Jose before going down claiming to have been fouled himself
Another sending off! Iturraspe is beaten by Neymar and he kicks out in an attempt to bring him down. The contact is minimal, but it is there and the midfielder is dismissed.
ATHLETIC SURVIVE! Incredible scenes. Neymar does wonderfully to cut the ball back to Messi who is hovering around the penalty spot. He shapes to shoot and beats the first man before seemingly ready to find the net, but San Jose comes in from nowhere and stabs the ball away. Neymar then sees an effort deflected just wide. This is desperate from the hosts.
Recognising Athletic's need for more numbers at the back for the final stages, Valverde replaces Aduriz with the hard-working Eraso.
The final 15 minutes or so are going to be rather one-sided. Barca are already piling men forward, so get ready for the onslaught.
Brainless from Garcia. The midfielder goes in late on Neymar and sends the Brazilian tumbling. The referee shows no hesitation in brandishing a second yellow and the subsequent red.
It's all getting a tasty out there. Garcia clashes with Neymar out wide and the Brazilian is adamant that he should have a free-kick. Nothing given.
First Barca change now, as Rakitic comes off for Gomes.
Excellent tracking by Muniain. Barca catch Athletic on the break and Suarez looks for a first-time pass into the box for Messi, but the substitute tracks back well and prods the ball to Iraizoz who clears.
Valverde makes his first change now, as Muniain replaces Saborit. A positive switch by the coach.
Brilliant defending from Rakitic! Aduriz is played into the area by Williams and he looks destined to pull the trigger, but the Croatian tracks back and just nudges him off the ball.
Great save! Neymar lines up a shot towards the left flank just outside the area and his effort is brilliantly tipped over by Iraizoz. The corner comes to nothing, though.
That's cheeky from Aduriz. The striker receives a pass on the edge of the area and attempts a delicate chip over Ter Stegen, but the goalkeeper is alert to it.
A rare chance for Suarez to come to life, as Messi rides a tackle and feeds him into the penalty area. But the pass is poor and Iraizoz pounces upon it, before exchanging a few words with the striker who left his foot in.
It's all getting a bit scrappy, with neither side dictating the play or taking control. It is fun, though. Both sides are playing to win.
Messi is occupying a more central role at the moment and is beginning to see a bit more of the ball. He was anonymous compared to his usual self in the first half.
And now Garcia ends up in the book, as he cynically fouls Iniesta. That was one too many from the midfielder.
The latest booking is given to Iturraspe now, as the Athletic midfielder is booked for a cynical foul.
GOAL!!! BARCA HAVE A LIFELINE! Messi bends a brilliant free-kick over the wall and Iraizoz gets a hand to it, pushing it on to the crossbar. The ball drops back down and crosses the line, even though the goalkeeper is adamant he kept it out. He didn't, and the visitors have one back.
Good play by Neymar, as he darts in from the left and is callously brought down by Garcia just outside the area. This is a good position for the visitors.
Almost an opening for Barca, as Suarez steps over the ball on the edge of the box and leaves it for Messi. A huge space opens up for a shot, but he sees it too late and opts to run across the 18-yard line and is eventually crowded out.
Aduriz and Umtiti is going to be intriguing in the second half and we get our first look at their latest episode now, as the Spaniard looks to latch on to a pass up the right and defender produces a thumping challenge to concede a throw-in.
Off we go for the second half. Will it be as fiery as the first? We can hope!
What a breathless first half. It started off well; both sides showed plenty of attacking intent. It got even better; Athletic scored twice in three minutes to open up a commanding - and deserved - lead. And then it ended remarkably; first with Umtiti's theatrics, before the referee made himself the centre of attention with an incredible decision to not award Neymar with a penalty. More of the same after the break, please!
45' + 4'
45' + 3'
Make that a hat-trick of bookings in quick succession. Busquets now joins Iniesta and Alba in receiving a yellow card for dissent.
45' + 2'
And now Alba joins Iniesta in the referee's book after getting too mouthy about that shocking decision.
45' + 1'
Incredible decision! Neymar is blatantly felled in the area by Etxeita, but the referee fails to award the penalty. Barca are absolutely furious and rightly so. Iniesta is booked for his protestations.
Athletic break on Barca and look set to cause real trouble. Balenziaga gets up the left flank and into space, before delivering a cross meant for Williams. Ter Stegen is there to gobble it up, though.
Umtiti is involved at the other end now, as a Barca corner drops kindly for him and he attempts a shot on the spin. In doing so he effective takes the ball off the foot of Rakitic and shoots straight at a defender.
The referee has to stop play again to have a word with Aduriz and Umtiti, with the centre-back looking extremely fired up now. Luis Enrique will undoubtedly tell him to calm down at half-time. The corner is eventually taken, but causes Barca little danger.
Athletic win themselves another corner now as Williams' cross is deflected behind.
Back up the other end Barca's corner is delivered and flies straight through the penalty area, evading everyone.
Umtiti is also shown the yellow card for his moaning at Aduriz.
Umtiti is back on the pitch and he goes marching straight over to Aduriz to exchange words. The Spanish striker laughs at the Frenchman's conduct and eventually both are booked. The Athletic man is fuming, adamant he did nothing wrong.
Replays show that Umtiti did appear to receive a flailing fist to the throat at that corner, but he is up and walking and looks to be completely fine. He might have made a bit more of that.
The corner is delivered and Barca clear their lines before racing up the other end and eventually win a corner as Roberto plays the ball against Balenziaga. At the other end Umtiti is writhing around in pain on the ground and the medical staff are on, with Ter Stegen adamant it is serious.
Roberto is the one guilty this time, as he passes straight to Balenziaga and the left-back charges forward. He feeds Saborit up the left flank and he wins a corner from the Barca right-back.
Barca's use of the ball has been particularly poor so far. On this occasion they rob Athletic in midfield, with San Jose culpable, but Messi ends up giving the ball away when a counter-attack looked to be taking shape.
Let-off for Barca. Yet again the visitors surrender possession in midfield and Williams is played into the right side of the box, but luckily for Luis Enrique's side the forward slices his finish horribly wide of the target.
Barca look really rattled here. They try to play their way out of danger again, but Athletic's pressing from the front is merciless. Eventually Alba hacks clear under pressure.
Assist Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
GOAL!!!! ATHLETIC ARE ON FIRE! A terrible three-minute spell for the away side and Valverde's men have a second! Alba's poor clearance is nodded straight back into the final third and Aduriz flicks the ball into the area for Williams, who provides a stunning half-volleyed finish into the top-right corner. A brilliant goal.
That goal is real boost for the hosts. After an excellent start they appeared to have let Barca into the contest, but that goal is nothing less than they deserve.
Assist Raúl García Escudero
GOAL!!! ATHLETIC HAVE THE LEAD! Good football from the hosts, as Iniesta's pass is intercepted in midfield and they quickly break forward. Eventually Garcia is played into the box by Aduriz and he digs out a cross to the back post, where the experienced striker is waiting to nod in. A fine move.
What a waste. Iturraspe takes the free-kick and smashes it straight out for a goal-kick. Boveda throws his arms up in frustration, a reaction which says everything you would need to know about that delivery.
Respite for the hosts now, as Aduriz is cynically tripped 30 yards from the Barca goal. This is certainly an opportunity to test the visitors.
Barca come straight back for more, with Messi terrorising Athletic down the right flank. He darts inside and clips a lovely cross into the danger zone for Pique, but he heads just wide while getting clattered by Iraizoz. He gets some medical attention, but should be okay to continue.
Messi's free-kick is flicked behind by an Athletic defender and Barca win a corner. The Argentinian also takes that and is met by the head of Pique, though Iraizoz makes an easy save.
Free-kick to Barca 35 yards from the hosts' goal, as Garcia produces a rather crude tackle from behind on Neymar. He can count himself a little lucky to escape a booking there.
Barca have certainly grown into this after looking a little shaky right at the start. But this Athletic side look well up for the challenge here.
This time Barca threaten from the right. Sergi Roberto finds himself in a good position and he fires a crisp cross into the danger zone which is punched away by Iraizoz just before Suarez can get his head to it.
The away side keep the pressure on and Alba is the one causing trouble this time. He cuts a pass back to the edge of the area and Messi blasts a first-time effort just wide.
Better from Barca! Neymar comes to life again, as he gets into the left side of the box and plays a teasing pass right across the edge of the six-yard box, but Suarez can't quite reach it.
San Jose does well in midfield, as he is faced up by Neymar who attempts to lose him with a drop of the shoulder, but the Athletic man reads him like a book and seizes possession. The forward pass for Aduriz that followed was poor, though.
Aduriz does well to race on to a ball played up the left flank and eventually steers a cross into the box, but it is played slightly behind Williams and Umtiti is there to sweep up and clear.
Good football from the visitors, as Neymar explodes into life and drives through the centre. He eventually feeds Messi into the right side of the box, but his attempted cross is easily blocked by Balenziaga.
Athletic have started very well, it must be said. Their pressing from the front has been effective and they are getting the ball into the box early. On this latest occasion it is Boveda who supplies a cross from the right and Ter Stegen manages to pounce on it ahead of San Jose, before the pair exchange a few words.
Some early pressure for Barca to withstand. The hosts win a corner out of nothing on the left flank and from Iturraspe's delivery San Jose heads just wide of the left-hand post. That was a real opportunity.
Off we go! Barca get us under way.
The teams make their way out and on to the pitch, with kick-off just a few moments away.
Both sides had straightforward passages into the last 16, as Athletic cruised past Racing Santander and Barca obliterated Hercules. Things will be significantly tougher for them this time around, though the visitors have an excellent record against the Basques, losing just one of their last 10 meetings across all competitions.
Much like the home side, Barcelona name a strong team. But there is a major call at centre-back. Javier Mascherano is kept in reserve on the bench and in his place starts Samuel Umtiti, who has generally impressed since his close-season move from Lyon. Rakitic is also back in the team in midfield after he struggled for form at the end of 2016.
The hosts are more-or-less at full-strength for the visit of Barca today, with perhaps the only question mark on their left flank, as Enric Saborit starts ahead of Iker Muniain. Otherwise they are generally as expected, with Aritz Aduriz looking to kick off his 2017 where he left off in 2016, which proved to be a remarkble year for the experienced forward.
Barca subs: Masip, Digne, Gomes, Mascherano, Rafinha, Turan, Alcacer.
Barcelona starting XI (4-3-3): Ter Stegen; Roberto, Umtiti, Pique, Alba; Busquets, Rakitic, Iniesta; Neymar, Messi, Suarez.
Athletic subs: Arrizabalaga, Elustondo, Eraso, Benat, Muniain, Susaeta, Rico.
Athletic starting XI (4-2-3-1): Iraizoz; Boveda, Etxeita, Laporte, Balenziaga; San Jose, Iturraspe; Williams, Raul Garcia, Enric Saborit; Aduriz.
First of all let's introduce the teams...
Hello and welcome to the LIVE coverage of the Copa del Rey last 16 first leg between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. I will be describing the action for you today, as these two sides go head-to-head at San Mames looking to take the early iniatitive.