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Athletic Club v Barcelona Live Commentary, 16/08/2019

FT
1 - 0
ATH
BAR
Aduriz (89)
San Mamés Barria

Commentary

That is all for tonight, once again thanks for joining us. Goodbye!
Barcelona lacked their usual spark in the final third and that was expected with Messi on the sidelines. But their gameplan was thrown out of the window when Suarez went off injured and they never seemed to recover. Aduriz’s strike deserves to win any game and it is Athletic that start the season with the victory.
A sublime strike from Aduriz gives Athletic all three points on a special night at San Mames. After watching Williams go close in the first half, Barcelona then hit the upright twice but neither Suarez or Griezmann could open the scoring. After introducing Rakitic at half-time, Valverde saw his team take control but they failed to make the extra possession pay. With two minutes to go, Aduriz was introduced and he made an incredible impact as he volleyed home within 60 seconds of entering the game.
90' + 2' FULL-TIME - ATHLETIC BILBAO 1-0 BARCELONA.
90' + 1' CHANCE - Lenglet nearly draws Barcelona level with a header but the defender sees his looping effort tipped over the bar by Simon.
90' Three minutes of stoppage time at San Mames...
89' WHAT A GOAAALLLLLLLL – ATHLETIC 1-0 BARCELONA  - Aduriz has been on the field for less than a minute and he makes an immediate impact thanks to a sensational overhead kick. The striker moved into a great position inside the box, before drilling the ball into the far corner. What a moment for the veteran, who will retire at the end of the season.
Capa
Assist
Athletic Club
89' Assist Ander Capa Rodríguez
Aduriz
Goal
Athletic Club
89' Goal Aritz Aduriz Zubeldia
Aduriz
Williams
Athletic Club
88' Williams now has no chance of getting his 50th for the club. Off he goes and Aduriz sprints onto the field but he has little time to make an impact.
85' Williams is looking for his 50th goal for Athletic tonight but he is running out of time to find it. He has had three chances to add to his tally but so far Ter Stegen has denied him.
83' Boos ring around San Mames as the home fans claim Griezmann was offside as he heads towards goal. It did not matter anyway as the Frenchman cannot keep his effort in play.
Beñat
Unai López
Athletic Club
81' Athletic make another change as Benat replaces Unai Lopez, who was on a yellow card after his earlier foul.
80' Rafinha has made such a difference since he came off the bench, but his latest effort from the edge of the box is deflected for a corner.
78' The pace of the game has dropped and that should suit Athletic. However, they are still inviting pressure and the home fans now seem very nervous.
Carles Pérez
Sergi Roberto
Barcelona
76' Perez is now on and he has 15 minutes or so to impress after replacing Roberto.
72' Barcelona may need to make one more change in order earn the three points. They have certainly improved since the first 45 minutes but they do not look at their fluent best.
70' OVER THE BAR!!! Athletic sit back and invite pressure and Barcelona nearly punish them. After the ball bobbles around in the box, Rakitic finally finds room to shoot but he finds the stands when he should be hitting the target.
68' Garitano has now added a fifth man in midfield and Athletic are trying to hold on. Nobody is supporting Williams and they could be made to pay for these tactics.
Oihan Sancet
De Marcos
Athletic Club
66' Sancet now enters the game as he prepares to make his debut for Athletic. The crowd rise to their feet to greet him as he replaces De Marcos.
Unai Núñez
Yellow Card
Athletic Club
65' Nunez joins Pique in the book after he blatantly gets in the way of Rakitic.
62' After a slight delay, Yuri steps up and he smashes the ball into the stands behind the goal.
Piqué
Yellow Card
Barcelona
60' Pique is the first man in the referee's book after he catches Raul Garcia with his arm as they jump for a header. Athletic now have a free-kick in a dangerous position.
59' The visitors win a free-kick in the middle of the park and they manage to register a shot after Athletic clear the first delivery. Rafinha pounces on the edge of the box but the midfielder is closer to finding the corner flag than he is the top corner.
57' Side netting! Athletic create their first chance of the second half after Williams bursts onto a ball over the top of the Barcelona defence. The striker is forced wide by the bounce and he cannot get enough curl on the shot as Ter Stegen watches it fly past his near post.
55' Barcelona have won their opening LaLiga match in each of the last 10 seasons but they will need to work for the three points tonight. Athletic have been solid so far but they should tire late on.
53' Barcelona try their luck with two corners but both are cleared away and the game remains goalless.
51' The first chance of the second half falls to Barcelona but Rafinha is denied at the near post. Dembele played him in thanks to a delicate pass but the shot is blocked for a corner.
48' Rakitic will look to control the midfield in the opening stages of the second half and it promises to be a good battle between the Croatian and Dani Garcia.
46' We are back underway with just one change at the break for Barcelona.
I. Rakitić
Carles Aleñá
Barcelona
46' Valverde makes one change at the break as Rakitic comes on for Alena.
Valverde will demand that his side tighten up at the back but he will be pleased to see his team still level considering they have also lost Suarez to injury. His team need to build through midfield more but the second half promises to be a cracker.
Despite being second best, Barcelona have still managed to the post on two occasions in this LaLiga battle. Suarez and Rafinha were so close to opening the scoring but we are still goalless at San Mames. Williams was denied on two occasions by Ter Stegen and it is quite a surprise to see neither team open the scoring.
45' HALF-TIME: ATHLETIC BILBAO 0-0 BARCELONA.
44' Athletic win a corner but Pique meets the cross at the near post and keeps the home side at bay.
42' SO CLOSE!! Rafinha is inches away from opening the scoring after a sensational strike but he is denied by a fingertip save from Simon. The midfielder cut in from the touchline and curled his left foot around the ball but Simon pushes his effort onto the bar and away from danger.
39' Suarez is now sat on the bench with an ice pack tied around his calf. Dembele has moved to the left wing, Griezmann is on the right and Rafinha will attack down the middle.
Rafinha
L. Suárez
Barcelona
37' Valverde has decided to take no risks with Suarez and he has now replaced the striker with Rafinha.
36' CHANCE! Capa charges down the wing and plays in Garcia but the midfielder was falling backwards as the ball reached him and his shot is easily saved by Ter Stegen.
34' Suarez appeared to be struggling with a muscle injury before he took that shot. He has now left the pitch for treatment but appears ready to return to the field of play.
32' OFF THE POST!!! – Lopez nearly costs his team with a shocking backpass towards his own goal. Barcelona ace Suarez is stood waiting for the error and he turns in the box and smashes the ball into the post. The Uruguayan should be scoring there and Athletic are lucky to still be level.
31' Lopez makes sure Ter Stegen is still alert by trying his luck from 30 yards out but the goalkeeper gets his body behind the ball and thwarts the danger.
28' Athletic work the ball into a good position and find themselves in the Barcelona box but De Marcos strays offside and Barcelona now have the chance to build from the back.
26' Barcelona need to work harder on their ball retention because the likes of Dembele, Suarez and Griezmann are not getting enough service in key areas.
24' Another mix-up sees Barcelona cough-up possession and it is the second time Alba has lost concentration on the left wing.
22' Muniain is brought down on the halfway line and Semedo was caught out of position for the second time this evening so he had no choice but to bring him down.
19' Griezmann has barely had a touch tonight but he is playing very deep compared to normal, but he is doing all he can to help the midfield after a tough start.
17' Athletic are giving Barcelona no time on the ball in defence and the home fans are delighted with their efforts so far.
15' Ter Stegen comes to the rescue for the second time tonight as he gets down low to deny Williams. The forward charged into the box and opened his body but he failed to get any height on his shot and Barcelona clear the danger.
13' Barcelona have not settled yet and they have been caught out on a number of occasions at the back due to their poor positioning.
11' Valverde's troops take the corner short but they then win another but Dembele's second attempt is cleared away.
10' Barcelona win their first corner of the night and Dembele will take it.
8' Athletic waste no time in taking the corner but Garcia can only head over the bar after finding space at the back post.
7' Ter Stegen is called into action as Williams tries his luck from range. Dembele gave the ball away in a dangerous area and Williams took the opportunity to drive towards goal. The forward was allowed time to shoot but he wins a corner as Ter Stegen tips the ball around the post.
4' Early error from Barcelona as Alba takes his eye off the ball and concedes a throw-in, just as Barcelona had got into a good position.
3' The pitch is in magnificent condition but Athletic fail to build on their first attack as a pass down the right wing bounces into touch.
1' We are underway at San Mames, Athletic in their traditional red and white shirt, while Barcelona are in yellow this evening.
The two teams are now on the field of play and we are waiting for kick-off. 
Athletic are winless in their last 11 LaLiga games against Barcelona and they have failed to score in eight of those matches.
There is a familiar look to Barcelona's defence, but De Jong and Griezmann will make their debuts this evening. Lionel Messi is out injured, while Philippe Coutinho was named in the squad but he will watch tonight's game from the stands.
Athletic boss Gaizka Garitano is without centre-back Inigo Martinez and he has also cannot call upon any new signings after a quiet summer. However, the club did manage to keep hold of star-striker Williams and he will lead the line tonight.
SUBS: Rafinha, Sergio Busquets, Inaki Pena, Ivan Rakitic, Junior Firpo, Samuel Umtiti, Carles Perez.
BARCELONA (4-3-3): Marc-Andre ter Stegen; Nelson Semedo, Gerard Pique, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba; Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong, Carles Alena; Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann.
SUBS: Dani Vivian, Gaizka Larrazabal, Aritz Aduriz, Benat Etxebarria, Ohian Sancet, Iago Herrerin, Mikel Balenziaga.
ATHLETIC BILBAO (4-2-3-1): Unai Simon; Ander Capa, Yeray Alvarez, Nunez, Yuri; Unai Lopez, Dani Garcia; Oscar De Marcos, Raul Garcia, Iker Muniain; Inaki Williams.
Athletic ended last season in fine form after enjoying a five-match unbeaten run, winning four of those games. Reigning champions Barcelona come into the match in good form, with Ernesto Valverde's side winning their last four pre-season contests.
Hello and welcome to tonight's live coverage of the opening LaLiga clash of the campaign between Athletic Bilbao and Barcelona. This evening's game will be the third time in five years that Athletic have hosted Barcelona at home on the first weekend of the season. They lost both of those games 1-0 and will be hoping to improve that record this time around.