Lions of Bilbao tamed by Barcelona’s brilliance

messi tames the lions of bilbao


Athletic Bilbao were given a reminder last night at the Nou Camp of what Barcelona are capable of. With a 5-1 victory and another record under their belts, the Catalan team under Tito Vilanova can do no wrong.

Goals came from Gerard Piqué, an own goal by Amorebieta, Adriano, Cesc Fabregás and Leo Messi. The lions’ consolation goal came courtesy of Ibai.

The lions of Bilbao, led by their trainer Bielsa, were tamed and turned into nothing more than playful kittens as Barcelona racked up another win and another record. It all looks too easy for this team this season as they go on their quest for greatness.

For 20 minutes of the game it looked like Barca had a rival to deal with but the team from Bilbao were brushed aside as the Catalan giants gave them a lesson in majestic football. Barca were unplayable and Bielsa knew it.

Once the first quarter of an hour’s pressure by Athletic Bilbao was soaked up by Barca, the organised Bilbao defence was duly opened up like a can of tuna fish and Barcelona started to play like they only know how. They started to pass the ball around the pitch creating the wonderful triangular formations that so typify Barcelona’s style and technique.

Xavi was unbelievable at organising his midfield and Pedro was brilliant at organising chaos up and down his wing. Leo Messi always seemed to be in the right place and Andrés Iniesta created space out of nothing with his wonderful play. Cesc, who played a bit deeper than usual had the time to move upfield to put the fifth goal in and bury Bilbao.

The whole team deserve credit and we can highlight the work rate of Pedro. He ran non-stop for 90 minutes and has become one of Barca’s heavyweights up front.

The first goal came one of the few moves that are not exactly Barca’s strong point. After a long corner, Pique took advantage of a loose ball and duly drilled it to the back of the net without problems. Two minutes later, Xavi found an unmarked Messi who just had Gorka to beat. Messi went across the goal to his left and chipped the keeper only for Amorebieta to put it in his own net in an attempt to clear.

The match looked like it was sentenced but it was far from over.In fact, the show had just begun for the Catalans and their fans were treated to one of the best footballing nights out in post Guardiola era.

Adriano’s goal – one to teach in the football academies

Before going in at half time, Adriano, who has four goals in this season, created a move that should be shown in football academies the world over. Messi, Cesc and Adriano created their own spaces on the left, they then changed the direction of play to the center of the pitch much to the surprise of the Athletic defense who saw Adriano joining the attack from the right to culminate an awesome finish.

The second half saw much of the same from Barca and was played on Athletic Bilbao’s side of the pitch with only Gorka completely saving the lions of a truly unbearable scoreline. From the blow of the whistle, Iniesta empowered Fabregás with a perfect pass from the edge of the area. Iniesta saw just enough of Cesc and catch the Bilbao defence off guard to provide an inch perfect pass in which Fabregás showed no mercy to Gorka.

Only then, with a confident Barcelona, Athletic managed to score the consolation goal. Iturraspe put a long ball through to Ibai, Adriano did not follow him and Ibai found himself before Victor Valdés and scored a lovely goal by trapping the ball with his right and tucking it under Valdés with his left. This was only Athletic Bilbao’s third shot at goal all evening but at least they made this one count.

To end the match, Pedro, one of the most prominent on the pitch last night, still had time to show that in addition to his delivery, willingness and work quality, he can still be one of the Barca attack heavyweights. Pedro played on the left and passed to Jordi Alba who failed to control and let the ball run to Messi. The Argentine controlled the ball and squared it up to place a shot past Gorka that gave him no chance.

It was football masterclass that ended up more like a party in the Nou Camp with Barcelona showing signs that little or nothing can stop them this year in clinching the league title.

About Barca Blogger

My name’s Steve aka Barca Blogger and one of the founding members of the team at Barcelonafcblog.com. I’ve been around since the blog started and we aim to bring you the most up to date information on this great club.

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