- Munir El Haddadi scored in the 85th minute to help Barca secure a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao
- The away side scored the opening goal through Oscar De Marcos in the first stanza
- Munir's goal ensured Barcelona were able to keep their unbeaten home record in the La Liga
Munir El Haddadi’s 85th minute goal helped Barcelona battle to a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao in a La Liga cracker at the Camp Nou on Saturday, September 29, 2018.
Oscar De Marcos scored the opening goal of the match on the 41st minute as Athletic Bilbao were looking forward to hand Barcelona their second defeat in three days.
The encounter saw Barca boss Ernesto Valverde drop Lionel Messi to the bench with an eye on next week’s Champions League cracker against Tottenham.
The home side had an early penalty shout on the 2nd minute after Coutinho produced an outrageous piece of skill to launch an attack before exchanging passes with Suarez.
The Brazilian broke into the box, but was robbed off the ball, prompting an early penalty claim but the referee ignored the fans.
In the first 10 minutes of the game, Barcelona dominated possession but lack of cutting edge in the final third despite lovely inter play between Coutinho and Louis Suarez.
On the 12th minute Athletic started getting into the game and were inches away from taking the lead.
A through pass directed to Williams saw the forward through a goal opportunity but his lob toward Barcelona’s goal beat Ter Stegen, but drops just behind the post with the keeper already beaten.
The visitors also had another chance to break the deadlock on the 17th minute, but Williams failed to connect Raul Garcia through ball after rounding the keeper thanks to Arturo Vidal’s tracking back to save the danger.
Barcelona had their own chance to open scores through Suarez on the 25th minute off a Vidal assist, but the Uruguayan, could only see his strike saved by the young keeper.
Two minutes later, Suarez tried his luck with an effort at the near post, but again Simon made another save.
However, the situation changed on the 41st minute mark when the pair of Raul Garcia and Dembele went down after competing for a 50-50 ball that finally got to Susaeta, who had all the time in the world to float a cross into the box for De Marcos, who in turn sends a volley at the back post past Ter Stegen for the opening goal of the match.
Barcelona almost got back to level term on the 43rd minute after a nice inter-play between Suarez and Coutinho, but the unmarked Brazilian, could not get enough force on his header as Simon picked up another save.
Coutinho also had a last minute chance in the added time of the first stanza, to put Barca on level terms, but his volley into the ground was tipped over as the referee blasted the whistle to end first half with the scoreboard reading Barcelona 0-1 Athletic Bilbao.
In the second stanza, Barca up their game but the away side stood their grounds and on the 55th minute Messi was introduced as a replacement for Vidal.to help remedy the game.
It was a keenly contested match from then on with the Argentine playmaker adding more quality to Barcelona attack.
However, Barcelona had to wait until the 85th minute when Munir El Haddadi benefitted from a Messi strike across goal, to net the needed equalizer from close range.
A performance that saw Barcelona keep their long unbeaten home record in the Spanish topflight.
Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously had reported that Spanish League champions Barcelona were handed their first defeat of the season after losing 2-1 to Leganes away from home.
Brazil superstar Philippe Coutinho opened scoring for the Catalans in the 12th minute of the encounter after being assisted by Lionel Messi.
But two quick goals from Nabil El Zha abd Oscar in the 52nd and 53rd minutes of the encounter to stun the defending champions on Wednesday night.
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