|Barça 3-0 Athletic Bilbao Match Report|
FC Barcelona cut the gap on Real Madrid at the top of the table to one point after they comfortably beat Athletic Bilbao 3-0 in their 21st league game of the season at the Camp Nou.
Goals from Paco Alcacer, Lionel Messi and Aleix Vidal ensured that Luis Enrique’s side continue their fantastic form at the Camp Nou against the Basque outfits and are now just one point behind Real Madrid who still have two games in hand.
Luis Enrique had Luis Suarez on the bench, given him a rest and playing Paco Alcácer instead. The former Valencia striker paid the coach back for that decision by grabbing he team’s opener in the 18th minute. Neymar, who had squandered a chance earlier, got past Oscar de Marcos with ease before finding Alcacer in the box who slotted past Gorka Iraizoz, it was his first goal for Barça in La Liga this season since joining in July.
Lionel Messi made it 2-0 in the 40th minute through a direct free kick from a tight angle. Aleix Vidal was felled by the side of the 18-yard box and Messi struck a cutler from a tight angel to beat Gorka Iraizoz, a strike which saw him overtake Ronald Koeman as player with the most direct free kick goals for Barça ever.
Marc-André Ter Stegen was then called upon once again after pulling off a fine save early on to deny Raul Garcia with a fingertip save which guided the strike unto the upright. He pulled a couple of good saves on the game to continue his fine form.
Barça had a lot of chances to increase their lead with Neymar torturing the Athletic defence, but it was Aleix Vidal who got Barça’s third of the evening.. The right-back was switched into a more advanced role after Messi was subbed off for Sergi Roberto and he scored a fine goal as he bamboozled a group of Athletic defenders before firing a left footer past Iraizoz.
The game ended at 3-0, a fine win for Barca.. Up next, Copa del Rey semifinal second leg vs Atleti.