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FC Barcelona 3-1 Athletic Bilbao: Match Review

A look back at Barcelona's progression in the Copa del Rey thanks to a 3-1 win at the Camp Nou and 4-2 aggregate win.

Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Athletic Bilbao seem to have become the Real Madrid of this season in the way that Barça are never more than a few weeks before another game against them. This game was the sixth meeting this season and the third meeting in January alone. This time it was the second leg of the Copa del Rey quarter final tie between the pair and Barcelona went into this game with a 2-1 advantage.

Barcelona Athletic Bilbao
Possession 65% 35%
Total Shots 18
Shots on Target 9
Corners 9 7
Fouls 10
Offsides 3 2
Yellow Cards 1 3
Red Cards 0

This meant, the visitors to the Camp Nou this evening where needing at least two goals if they were to progress and it was they who started on the front foot. Barcelona, playing a much changed eleven, tried to wrestle their way back into the game and it was this physicality that saw the ball in the net for the first time. A swinging corner from Lionel Messi found Thomas Vermaelen in the box and he nodded the ball goal-wards. However, the referee deemed that Vermaelen's use of his arms was too much and signalled a free kick.

Ten minutes had passed and it was now Barça who were on top but against the run of play, the away side struck first. The ball fell to Aritz Aduriz and his pass was only bettered by the run of Iñaki Williams. The man who has troubled Barça in the past peeled away from Jeremy Mathieu and connected with the through ball from Aduriz. The 21 year old calmly took the ball past Marc-André ter Stegen and then passed it into the net.

With a midfield three of Javier Mascherano, Sergi Roberto and Ivan Rakitić, the team seemed to be lacking creativity in the middle and the front three was becoming increasingly disjointed from the  rest of the team.

Bilbao, though, were not experiencing this problem and were pushing for the goal that would see them go ahead in the tie. Aduriz, a constant thorn in Barça's side, came close and Markel Susaeta fluffed a kick from yards away.

Barcelona were clawing a way into the game primarily through Neymar. Twice he clashed with Aymeric Laporte in the penalty area but both incidents would've been harsh to award a spot kick. A couple of minutes later though and Athletic were lucky to not be reduced to ten. Neymar had broken clean though and Balenziaga was forced to bodycheck the Brazilian. As Balenziaga was the last man it was surprising to see the referee produce a yellow card with the only reasoning being that Neymar was possibly going away from goal.

The resultant free kick from Lionel Messi curled over the bar and the teams went in at the break with Athletic up on the night but level in the tie.

While this game was going on, Atlético Madrid were having a torrid time in the capital against Celta Vigo. The game ended 3-2, knocking Diego Simeone's men out in the process, making the winners of the Camp Nou tie strong favourites to go on and lift the trophy.

As it stood, Barça were going through but being one goal away from elimination is never comfortable so the team started the second half in search for the equaliser. That search didn't last long as eight minutes after the restart, Barça were level. Sergio Roberto played a perfectly timed pass into the path of Messi. The Argentine took the ball down the left flank before drilling it across goal. Rakitić flung a leg at it but made no contact which turned out to be a blessing in disguise as the unmarked Luis Suárez was arriving at the back post. He rifled the ball into the far corner and Barcelona reclaimed control of the tie.

The Catalans were still lacking fluidity on the field so the introduction of Sergio Busquets in the 70th minute was a welcome sight.

Barça were searching for the next goal to put the tie to bed and with ten minutes to go, they got it. A Neymar corner was met by Gerard Piqué's head and it required the fingertips of Iago Herrerín to push it past the post. However 40 seconds later, Piqué made no mistake. Rakitić found Dani Alves who crossed the ball towards Piqué. The central defender rose and fired his header past Herrerín to make it 2-1. The team were now 4-2 up on aggregate and cruising towards the final whistle.

With seconds on the clock, Neymar made it 3-1. Some great footwork took him past the defenders and gave him a sight of goal. He drilled the effort into the top corner and the game finished 3-1. Barça will now face any of Celta Vigo, Mirandés, Sevilla, Las Palmas or Valencia.

Roll Call Info
Total comments 824
Total commenters 55
Commenter list Akshit Goyal, AllAboutStyle, Anders Thomassen, AngusLB, Anirudh_Kul, Ashraf Arefin, BarcaGH, Barca_24, CBo, ChiraqBoss, Daxterflames, Delano Heerkens, DesiCule, Eddie Pundell, ElasticFan, FCBMSN, HardenTuranAKAFeartheBEARD, JordanBelfort, JordiBalboa, KiwiBarca, Lapulga, MayteeA, My Name Is Dennis, NamesTroyResideInTheDMV, Petter Premberg, Piyush_, Ragnar_Lothbrok, Ruy Diaz, SafaaLeon62, Som-i-Serem, Steven Cordero, TheGodfather21, Trifitology, Yuro_Doosh, ZTAhmad, avyator, craig00000, culegun, dewoul, el_uruguayo, feeya7, footballfordoze, godnkls, golazzooo, henderick.mitchell, istiaque, joe259, ledhe, messism, no.imagination90, saltylures, smatiisc, syredeathtrooper, thenrick, vireyda
Story URLs
# Commenter # Comments
1 Delano Heerkens 69
2 Piyush_ 69
3 NamesTroyResideInTheDMV 58
4 Yuro_Doosh 58
5 Trifitology 52
6 JordanBelfort 39
7 Som-i-Serem 39
8 Ashraf Arefin 37
9 vireyda 33
10 AllAboutStyle 31
11 avyator 30
12 thenrick 29
13 KiwiBarca 25
14 Anirudh_Kul 25
15 godnkls 23
16 MayteeA 23
17 feeya7 22
18 saltylures 19
19 syredeathtrooper 16
20 no.imagination90 14
21 Anders Thomassen 13
22 henderick.mitchell 12
23 AngusLB 9
24 BarcaGH 7
25 dewoul 7
26 footballfordoze 6
27 Ruy Diaz 5
28 Steven Cordero 5
30 TheGodfather21 4
31 My Name Is Dennis 4
32 messism 3
33 Eddie Pundell 3
34 Barca_24 3
35 ElasticFan 3
36 CBo 2
37 Akshit Goyal 2
38 Daxterflames 2
39 craig00000 2
40 JordiBalboa 2
41 smatiisc 1
42 Petter Premberg 1
43 ChiraqBoss 1
44 culegun 1
45 ZTAhmad 1
46 el_uruguayo 1
47 Ragnar_Lothbrok 1
48 SafaaLeon62 1
49 joe259 1
50 golazzooo 1
51 ledhe 1
52 DesiCule 1
53 Lapulga 1
54 istiaque 1
55 HardenTuranAKAFeartheBEARD 1
# Recs Commenter Comment Link
4 FCBMSN so every time we play Bilbao it is going to be revenge? lol
4 KiwiBarca Guys Chill THIS IS BARCA
3 KiwiBarca Seems like this all of a sudden
2 Delano Heerkens Ter Stegen....
2 Delano Heerkens Dani Alves!!
2 Som-i-Serem Disappointed with the crowd.
2 Ashraf Arefin Just intimadating Bilbao
2 vireyda Somebody put up a batsignal or something and Get Xavi Back.
2 AllAboutStyle Just ignore these rumors
2 Piyush_ made someone do a Boateng
1 JordanBelfort always have an eye on valencia. they produce left backs like apple produces iphones
1 AllAboutStyle come on
1 el_uruguayo It's called a left footed volley
1 Piyush_ I almost thought Mascherano might score there
1 Som-i-Serem Masche on the move!
1 Piyush_ Roberto is the definition of b2b right now
1 Anirudh_Kul Masche imitating Messi there
1 Trifitology Mathieu with the save, lol
1 AllAboutStyle It is just not the natural position for him
1 NamesTroyResideInTheDMV Dani aside from maybe 1 or 2 times has made great play getting out of the back
1 Yuro_Doosh I was on ManagingMadrid during the last Clasico for shits and giggles
1 Anders Thomassen THE REAL CF
1 MayteeA He didn't give the ball to the keeper
1 NamesTroyResideInTheDMV :blush:
1 godnkls 2nd half was beutiful
1 MayteeA That's why they hate him so much
1 Piyush_ someone stepped on his boot
1 Trifitology The shot from his boot. Lit it on fire, lol
1 syredeathtrooper 2nd half was far from ugly
1 Piyush_ It was so fast paced, this was an exciting game, full of highs and lows
1 Yuro_Doosh I'm saying one for his health, and one to ward off evil spirits from the capitol
1 Piyush_ simply disrespectful
1 Trifitology Busi, lol
1 JordanBelfort alves with the assist, pique with the goal... two defenders deciding the game
1 BarcaGH Roberto
1 saltylures Gingersnaps with the block!!!!
1 NamesTroyResideInTheDMV We'll all forget that from tackle from Alves
1 MayteeA Haha Messi
1 Delano Heerkens Messi is showing why he's ONLY interest in team trophies
1 Piyush_ Alves assist
1 Som-i-Serem Great pass.
1 AllAboutStyle It is a shame
1 BarcaGH they score soooo early
1 Trifitology Relax, ppl...
1 henderick.mitchell Not acceptable... We are NOT REAL MADRID...
1 AllAboutStyle Typically, the ones whistling are just small portion of fans
1 JordanBelfort neymar should JUST SHOOOOOTTTT and stop trusting the referees to give him a penalty
1 Delano Heerkens Mathieu plays well at CB
1 KiwiBarca WOW WTF come on lads focus
1 Ashraf Arefin Now we have to attack! Game on........
1 henderick.mitchell Check this out
1 NamesTroyResideInTheDMV Dani's metrosexual cousin
1 Delano Heerkens Hey boys
1 Trifitology We need him...
1 Piyush_ Roberto kept Inaki in his pocket
1 Delano Heerkens Bro..
1 NamesTroyResideInTheDMV Don't know why, he's been the only solid one back there
1 godnkls Messi is far better
1 Piyush_ Roberto made a great pass to Messi
1 Anders Thomassen SUAREZ!!!!!!!!!
1 Ashraf Arefin Come Raki you knew that was not possible
1 AllAboutStyle CDR goal king Munir scores a hat trick from bench?
1 Som-i-Serem Ha Ha Mathieu dribbling there :stuck_out_tongue:
1 NamesTroyResideInTheDMV They can't keep up their press any longer
1 Yuro_Doosh It ain't bragging
1 Yuro_Doosh no
1 Delano Heerkens Messi all day.....
1 Piyush_ Messi has been taking great free kicks, I'd rather have him take them
1 Barca_24 Now's the time for one of Luchos great speeches
1 Anirudh_Kul Not over Iniesta like you said though..
1 Anirudh_Kul He's really good.
1 Ashraf Arefin Lucho's Pep-talk is working!

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