<img src=”https://fcbarcelonasport.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/comfortable-triumph-of-the-barca-before-an-athletic-without-resistance.jpg” width=”600″ height=”338″ alt=” Messi "title =" Messi "/>
Messi celebrates with Dembélé his goal against Athletic Club.
</div>FC Barcelona added a new victory (2-0) against Athletic Club, maintaining their status as undisputed and unbeaten leader thanks to a great collective performance in the first half and, in particular, a Leo Messi that disarmed with his game and a goal the defense of a rival played after the elimination of Europa League. The important losses in the eleven blaugrana of Sergio Busquets, due to injury , and Luis Suárez by sanction, had little impact on a local team that found once again in Messi their offensive reference and in the en bloc work in the advance pressure the way to drown any opponent attempt.  The Argentine warned on set pieces, before combining for the umpteenth time this season with a Jordi Alba who this time opted to attend Paco Alcácer . The Valencian took advantage of the absence of Suarez to score his first goal of 2018 a few minutes after the start of the game at the Camp Nou..
The early both evidenced the doubts of an Athletic with possible fatigue and bad mood, after his fall in the eighth Europa League against Marseille last Thursday. Before his former team, Ernesto Valverde had no mercy and ordered an advanced pressure that put the Basques in trouble.
With the Bilbao residents locked in their field, Kepa Arrizabalaga and the posts avoided a win before the end. break. Ousmane Dembélé, at his best as a Barça player, twice ran into the goalkeeper's good deeds, while Philippe Coutinho twice, and Paulinho, in another, crashed into the wood.
The one that there was no way to stop was Messi, who received a pass from Dembélé on the front of the area to extend the advantage with a crossed shot satin. The second both certified the visible superiority of Barcelona in a first half in which Marc-André Ter Stegen was unpublished.
After the break, 'Kuko' Ziganda tried to change the march of the game by moving a bench in which he had the surprising substitutes Iñaki Williams and Aritz Aduriz. However, the coach chose to reinforce the midfield with the entry of Ander Iturraspe to try to stop the bleeding of local occasions.
The change caused a change in attitude that led to the best minutes visitors, with timid approaches led by the player in tip, Sabin Merino. This substitution leveled the game, although the Bilbao players did not get the right to cut differences, despite the entry to the pitch of Williams and Aduriz.
The rival improvement, relaxation and fatigue lowered the intensity of a Barcelona that could no longer easily find Messi and who limited himself to managing his advantage, harvesting three points that put pressure on Atlético de Madrid to 11 of the leadership before his visit to l Ceramic Stadium of this Sunday with the break for selections next week in sight.
Athletic, for its part, closes with this defeat a bad week of harsh reality for the short season of football. The reaction after the break sweeps a poor first forty-five minutes, although the result leaves the Bilbao nine points from the Europa League posts that marks the Villarreal before his match against the colchoneros.
] Technical sheet:
2 – Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Umtiti, Jordi Alba; Rakitic, Paulinho, Coutinho (André Gomes, min 85); Paco Alcácer (Aleix Vidal, min 74), Messi and Dembélé (Iniesta, min 63)
0 – Athletic Club: Kepa; Lekue, Unai Núñez, Íñigo Martínez Saborit; Beñat (Iturraspe, min 46), San José; De Marcos, Raúl García, Susaeta (Williams, min 63) and Sabin Merino (Aduriz, min 71).
Goals: 1-0: Paco Alcácer, min. 8. 2-0: Messi, min. 30.
Referee: Jaime Latre (Aragonese Committee). He showed a yellow card to Umtiti (min 17), Dembélé (min 38) and Lekue (min 40)
Incidents: Match of the twenty-ninth round of LaLiga Santander played at the Camp Nou before 84,053 spectators