Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Sport | By Billy Aguilar

Spanish LaLiga Report: Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, 18 March 2018

Spanish LaLiga Report: Barcelona v Athletic Bilbao, 18 March 2018

The duo were on target as Barca cruised to a routine 2-0 win over Athletic Bilbao at Camp Nou on Sunday, Ernesto Valverde's men moving a step closer to regaining domestic glory from Real Madrid.

Alcacer took the place of suspended striker Luis Suarez in the starting line-up and scored a first goal in three months to put Barca ahead in the eighth minute, side-footing home a pass from Jordi Alba after Messi had cut in from the left.

After extending their advantage, Barca continued their dominance, with Coutinho's hitting of the woodwork for the second time of the afternoon swiftly followed up by Paulinho being denied via the same obstacle.

Messi had scored 16 goals in 18 games against Athletic at Camp Nou coming into this clash and he nearly improved on that tally as early as the fourth minute with a curling free-kick that Kepa Arrizabalaga tipped over the crossbar.

Athletic did show signs of life in the early stages of the second period as Inigo Lekue and Sabin Merino erred from presentable opportunities, before an off-balance Coutinho could only stab an effort straight at Kepa.

Athletic Club have lost 60 away games against Barcelona in La Liga; more than against any other team (P86 W17 D9 L60).

According to Sky Sports, the victory moved Barcelona, who stretched their unbeaten run to 35 games in the league, 11 points clear with nine games to play. "I'm a team player, I work for them and if I add a goal then great", he told reporters after the match.

Sevilla qualified for the quarterfinals of Europe's elite competition for the first time by beating United 2-1 at Old Trafford on Tuesday but went behind to Leganes four minutes before halftime to a looping header from defender Unai Bustinza.

He has scored 13 goals in 74 appearances for the Blues and provided six assists. Messi almost scored his second from inside the area in the 88th.

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