LaLiga: Luis Suarez reveals why Barcelona dropped points against Athletic Bilbao

Jose Verdugo
Febrero 11, 2019

La Liga leaders Barcelona handed Real Madrid more hope in the title race as they drew 0-0 at Athletic Bilbao on Sunday, only avoiding defeat thanks to some outstanding saves by Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

La Liga: Barcelona vs.

Lionel Messi's thigh problem dominated the pre-match talk, but the Argentine was named in the Barcelona XI, with Philippe Coutinho also keeping his spot despite struggling for form in recent weeks.

As Bilbao upped the tempo, Williams reappeared in the final eight minutes as he sent an effort wide of the mark after collecting a cross from the right.

The Germany keeper twice thwarted forward Inaki Williams and kept out a stinging drive from Markel Susaeta in an intense and entertaining game in which the champions came under heavy pressure throughout.

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Luis Suarez scores in each half and Bilbao's chances of survival take a hit.

Ter Stegen had to pull off a fine save to keep out Susaeta's curling left-foot shot six minutes later and Barcelona were less than comfortable in dealing with the two corners which followed in quick succession. Messi was picked but not fully recovered while Ousmane Dembele was fit enough only for the bench, having shaken off an ankle injury. Barca enters the game in first place with 50 points and a record of 15-5-2, while Bilbao is in 13th place with a record of 5-11-6 and 26 points.

Williams had a wonderful chance to send Bilbao ahead in the 80th minute when the forward met a free kick from Muniain, but the ball flew just wide of the post, before the in-form Spain global fired straight at Ter Stegen from another Muniain pass moments later.

Bilbao had a golden chance to take the lead 25 minutes from time when San Jose found space in a unsafe position, but the midfielder's effort just missed the post.

Ter Stegen's reflexes then came to the aid of the visitors to prevent another close-range strike from Williams, before the home side had Oscar de Marcos sent off for picking up a second yellow card late on.

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