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Barca beaten in La Liga opener

Written by on August 17, 2019

Barca beaten in La Liga opener

La Liga champions Barcelona fell to their first opening day defeat of the season in 11 years when they were beaten 1-0 at Athletic Bilbao.

It was thanks to a sensational late overhead kick from veteran striker Aritz Aduriz.

The 38-year-old came off the bench late in the game and soon made Barca pay for squandering several chances by acrobatically lashing an unstoppable shot into the net in the 89th minute.

The Catalans were without injured captain Lionel Messi but lined up with 200 million euros of new talent in France forward Antoine Griezmann and Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong.

However, they lacked sparkle against an energetic Bilbao side who had the better run of play for the first half even though Barca came closest to scoring before the interval.

Luis Suarez struck the near post in the first half when presented with a terrible back pass from Athletic’s Unai Lopez and was soon forced off with a calf injury, while substitute Rafinha rattled the crossbar after coming on.

Barca improved after the break as coach Ernesto Valverde replaced young midfielder Carles Alena with the more experienced Ivan Rakitic and spent most of the second period in the home side’s area.

Rakitic and Rafinha each came close to scoring for the visitors but they were outdone by one of Spanish football’s best loved players in Aduriz, who has announced that he will retire at the end of the season.

Published: 17/08/2019 by Radio NewsHub