Barcelona loses its first game of 2017
And it didn’t work for Barcelona in the first game of the year. This Thursday (5), at San Mamés, the team lost by 2-1 against Athletic Bilbao, in the first round of the final 16 of Copa del Rey. Now the team returns to the pitch next Sunday (8), for La Liga, against Villarreal.
First half –
The first game of the year began at San Mamés for Barça. The Athletic Bilbao tried to pressure the Catalan team right in the beginning of the match, disturbing the squad at the entrance of the area. With ten minutes of game, the ball was calm inside the pitch and both teams moved with caution, not causing much danger to the adversary.
At 19 minutes, the first big chance appeared. Messi received it on the right and launched it to Piqué, who was in the adversary area. The defender headbutted the ball, but sent it out. Athletic Bilbao didn’t like it and decided to return it with a goal at 24 minutes, with play between Aduriz and Raul García.
The Athletic kept pressuring Barça at the area’s entrance. They pressured so much that, at 27 minutes, Aduriz got the ball and left Iñaki Williams kick in the area to score the second. The game continued with a shut down Barcelona inside the pitch and ended with a powerful Bilbao there.
Second half –
Barça finally scored in the second half. At 52 minutes, Messi made the first free-kick of the second step and, although he didn’t shake the net, the ball hit the pole and crossed the line. 2-1 at San Mamés. After the goal, the Catalan team kept fighting to get to the adversary area, but the Athletic’s defense seemed unstoppable.
At 64 minutes, Neymar Jr. received the ball on the right and tried a righteous kick from outside the area, but Iraizoz defended. The game remained difficult for Barcelona and Bilbao kept trying to maintain controlo f the duel.
The azulgrana team grew inside the pitch, created more chances and even had two more players as an advantage, but the goaldidn’t seem to come as the duel ran to its end. Aftert the three extra minutes given, Barça’s chances ended and the Athletic Bilbao was the winner.