Barcelona finished February in style and will stay in La Liga Top 4 for another week thanks to a 4-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou. Barcelona faced a weak opponent but remained professional and played solid football for 90 minutes, scoring four excellent goals to capture three more points and continuing to look strong in the race for a place in the Champions League.
Marcelino Garcia Toral has made several changes to Athletic and is looking forward to next Wednesday’s match Del Rey Cup In the semi-finals, so his plan with this weak team was to try to thwart Barcelona’s attack and beat 0-0 in the second half. He almost succeeded in that strategy.
Despite having more than 75% possession throughout the first half, Barcelona were not at their best offensively and struggled to create several meaningful attacks thanks to a combination of extravagance in the final third and a good and solid defensive structure by the visitors. Over the course of the entire half, Barcelona created only one real chance through open play, with Gavi finding himself alone in the penalty area after a pass from Ferran Torres but he missed the goal completely and sent the ball high into the sky of the Camp Nou.
Although they didn’t have any of their best attacking players on the field in the first half, Bilbao lived on moments thanks to some defensive lapses by the Barcelona defense line that didn’t pick the best times to increase the pressure and leave big. Spaces that could have been exploited by a more talented team.
As we approached the end of the first half, it looked as if Athletic would find a way to keep Barcelona out of their own net, but… Blaugrana He found the breakthrough in a set piece: Dani Alves sent a corner kick into the penalty area, Gerard Pique sent a powerful header into the crossbar, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang reacted faster than everyone else and hit the ball into the goal.
In the first half, Barcelona were not really at their best but still had a decisive lead by one goal, but they needed to raise their level because Athletic did not give up and had a chance to take their big guns off the bench in the second half.
the other half
Barcelona remained dominant at the start of the second half, coping well with higher pressure from Athletic and better controlling the opponent’s counter-attacks, and should have gone 2-0 up when Ferran found himself alone in front of the goalkeeper. After a mistake by Bilbao’s defense, but he shot it directly at Unai Simon and missed a great opportunity.
Torres was soon replaced by Ousmane Dembele, who came to Frenkie de Jong’s side to try and put the game to bed. Both made an immediate impact with their movement and quality on the ball, and Dembele scored a superb goal with a volley into the roof of the net from a tight angle inside the penalty area to double Barcelona’s lead.
Athletic sent Inaki Williams onto the field hoping to bring their star striker off the bench to make the game enjoyable in the final minutes, but Barcelona were well under control and added two more goals thanks to assists from Dembele. , who put him on the board for both Luke de Jong and Memphis Depay to score from the bench in overtime.
The final whistle came, and Blaugrana They continue to hold fourth place and have a game in hand with all the teams around them in the table, and they are showing better and stronger under Xavi with every match.
As Eminem says, Barcelona appeared. Tell a friend.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen, Alves, Araujo, Pique, Dest; Jaffe (F. De Jong 67′) Busquets (Niko 86′), Pedri; Adama (Memphis 82′), Aubameyang (L. De Jong 86′), Ferran (Dembélé 67′)
Objectives: Aubameyang (37 minutes), Dembele (73 minutes), L.D. Young (90 minutes), Memphis (90 + 3 minutes)
Athlete: Simon. Lekue, Vivian, Yeray (Martínez 46′), Balenziaga; Zaraga (N. Williams 67′), Vinsidor, Vesga (Garcia 67′), Serrano; García (Sancet 46′), Villalibre (I. Williams 77′)
Objectives: no one