Barcelona Secures 1-0 Win Against Athletic Club in La Liga

Gabbie Odonkor
Gabbie Odonkor  - Chief Executive Officer 729 Views
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Raphinha Shines as Barcelona Triumphs Over Athletic Club

Barcelona travelled to the famous San Mames to take on Athletic Club on Matchday 25, feeling the pressure to secure three points after Real Madrid’s comfortable win over Espanyol on Saturday. Xavi made some interesting decisions in his starting lineup, giving Sergi Roberto a rare start at right-back with Jules Kounde and Andreas Christensen taking over the central defence, and Alejandro Balde completing the backline. Franck Kessie was rested as Sergio Busquets, Frenkie de Jong, and Gavi started in midfield, while Robert Lewandowski returned to the centre-forward role with Raphinha and Ferran Torres on his right and left.

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Barcelona dominated the opening minutes of the game, with Raphinha’s freekick failing to hit the target and Sergio Busquets’ volley falling just inches shy of the post. In the 15th minute, there was mayhem in the Catalan area, with several Athletic Club players trying to put the ball past Ter Stegen, but to no avail. Two minutes later, Barcelona had a great chance to score when Frenkie de Jong sent Robert Lewandowski free in front of the goal, but Agirrezabala made a good stop.

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At the half-hour mark, Inaki Williams’ shot drifted millimetres away from the side netting, and Raul Garcia hit the crossbar with the succeeding corner in their biggest chance up until that point. Barcelona took the lead in the final seconds of the first half through a wonderful goal from Raphinha, whose vicious strike buried the ball into the back of the net. The goal initially ruled offside stood on VAR review, giving Xavi’s men a precious lead at San Mames in their pocket.

Raphinha's Goal Secures Victory for Barcelona Against Athletic Club
Raphinha’s Goal Secures Victory for Barcelona Against Athletic Club

Barcelona had the first big chance of the second period when Balde’s cross found Lewy in the box, but the Pole couldn’t find the target. Franck Kessie replaced Ferran Torres in the 66th minute, and the Blaugranas returned to their comfortable four-midfielder system. In the 71st minute, the Basque side had a great chance when Berenguer got the better of Roberto on the flank, but he struck the post after Christensen blocked it. Six minutes later, Ter Stegen came up with a series of clutch saves to deny Muniain and Inaki Williams.

Marcos Alonso and Ansu Fati came on for Sergi Roberto and Raphinha for the final seven minutes of play. Athletic Club got right back in the game with a swift counterattack in the 87th minute as Inaki Williams executed a perfect finish, but it was ruled out as the ball touched Muniain’s arm in the buildup to the goal. A Ter Stegen saves and a clearance by Jules Kounde off the line kept the ball out of Barcelona’s goal minutes later. Gavi came off for Angel Alcaron to see out the closing minutes.

Barcelona held on to yet another 1-0 win in La Liga, taking all three points at San Mames. A combination of good defence and luck helped them coast over a difficult second half as Raphinha’s lone goal separated the two sides. Barcelona’s next match is an important Clasico against Real Madrid, potentially having a big impact on the title race.

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By Gabbie Odonkor Chief Executive Officer
Gabriel Djabatey Odonkor , known professionally as Gabbie Odonkor, is a Ghanaian Sports blogger, freelance journalist, and reporter. He founded, a sports website and blog that primarily publishes news about sports.
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