Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao ended 3-0 and Barcelona regained confidence to compete for the La Liga title.
FC Barcelona: Marc-Andre Ter Stegen, Aleix Vidal, Gerrard Pique, Samuel Umtiti, Jérémy Mathieu, Rafinha Alcantara, Andre Gomez, Arda Turan, Lionel Messi, Paco Alcacer, Neymar Jr.
Athletic Club Bilbao: Iraizoz, De Marcos, Yeray, Laporte, Balenziaga, San Jose, Iturraspe, Lekue, Raul Gracia, Muniain, Williams.
It seems like the rotation of players in the starting XI has paid off for Luis Enrique who has been struggling in La Liga this season. Aleix Vidal in place of Sergi Roberto on the right back position was wanted by fans around the globe. Moreover, the start of Jeremy Mathieu was a surprise as both Lucas Digne and Jordi Alba are fully fit and Mathieu has been really poor since the previous campaign. However, Mathieu delivered a decent performance last night on the left back position. Moreover, Rafinha, Arda Turan, and Andre Gomez started for the first time together in the mid-field. Although all were decent during the game and the coach might start this midfield often.
Another major change saw Paco Alcacer starting in place of Luis Suarez. Although Paco has been poor until now, but last night was his best performance in a Barcelona T-shirt. One of the key events of the game was Lionel Messi’s free-kick goal. The best player in the world scored a free-kick from a nearly impossible angle. He took the free-kick near the corner spot and converted the set-piece into a splendid goal.
Since the game ended in favor of Barcelona, they are 2nd in the league table. Only one point behind Real Madrid. But the Los Blancos have 2 games in hand and 1 point ahead. This will be a tough competition for Barcelona in the league this season.