Athletic Bilbao shock Barcelona in La Liga opener
Athletic Bilbao inflicted Barcelona a shock defeat on the opening day of the La Liga season thanks to a sublime winner by Aritz Aduriz.
Defending champions Barca produced a lacklustre performance and were punished when substitute Aduriz, 38, found the net with a stunning 89th minute scissor-kick.
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Super star Lionel Messi was absent with a calf injury while Philippe Coutinho who he is on the verge of completing a loan move to Bayern Munich also missed as Barca suffered a further blow after Suarez limbed off with an injury before half time.
Chasing a third successive La Liga title, Ernesto Valverde’s side gave debut to midfielder Frenkie de Jong, a £65m signing from Ajax but were disjointed for long spells and managed just two shots on target.
Former Spain forward Aduriz has already announced he is retiring at the end of the season after a career spanning 20 years.
Coming on just a minute before, the club legend threw himself into the air and acrobatically volleyed past Marc-Andre ter Stegen to earn Athletic Bilbao a first league win over Barcelona since 2013.
88': Adruiz comes on
89': Aduriz scores
Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona
What a finish from the 38-year old. ? pic.twitter.com/5VO8IXszqr
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“Sometimes football is so beautiful and when you least expect it a ball like that comes to your feet and goes into the net,” Aduriz told reporters.
“Barcelona are the best team around and it’s very difficult to last a whole game taking them on and matching them for space but we knew exactly how to manage our energy.”
Valverde was disappointed with the result as he gave update on Messi’s absence.
“We’re used to having Messi solve problems for us but we have to perform when he’s not there. We’ve done it in the past. It’s inevitable we’re going to miss him, but we have to look at other things, too.” The Barca boss said.
In the next match Barcelona will meet on Real Betis in Camp nou hoping Messi can return to action to turn around the fortunes.