Barcelona failed to make a winning start to the 2019-2020 La Liga campaign as the team lost 1-0 to Atletico Bilbao in Friday’s clash at the San Mamés Stadium.
The reigning champions were toothless without talisman Lionel Messi, who missed the fixture due to a troublesome calf injury.
The Catalans struggled to cope with the pace and physical composure of the Atletico Bilbao’s players in the first 15 minutes as they were made to play deep from the back.
Barca’s real chance came in the 33rd minute when Luis Suarez’s shot shattered the crossbar to the delight of the Atletico’s supporters. Straight after his miss, Suarez had to be subbed off for Rafinha due to an injury to his right calf.
And the substitute almost made the perfect impact in the 44th minute, but his long-range effort crashed back off the crossbar after a fingertip save from Unai Simon.
However, Atletico are always on the ascendency as they attacked Barcelona but poor finishing cost the team from taking the lead.
However, Aritz Aduriz gave the home supporters something to cheer as he netted in the 88th minute to give Atletico the maximum points of the La Liga campaign.
Barcelona: Ter Stegen; Semedo, Piqué, Lenglet, Alba; Roberto (Pérez 76’), De Jong, Aleñá (Rakitic 45’); Dembélé, Suárez (Rafinha 37’), Griezmann
Athletic: Simón; Capa, Yeray, Núñez, Yuri; Unai (Beñat 81’), D. García; De Marcos (Sancet 66’), R. García, Muniain; Williams (Aduriz 87’)
Goal: Aduriz (89’)
On Saturday, Real Madrid will commence their campaign as the team face Celta Vigo while Valencia play host to Real Sociedad. Villarreal will come at loggerheads with Grenada as a newly promoted club, Mallorca confront face Eibar.