Barcelona won in Bilbao

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Barcelona won in Bilbao


Raphinha’s strike gave Barcelona an emphatic 1-0 win Athletic Bilbao on Sunday to restore their impressive ninth place over Real Madrid at the top of La Liga.

Real Sociedad stumbled to a 1-1 draw at Real Mallorca, with their bid to finish in the top four losing steam at an alarming rate.

The struggle of Sevilla got an important 2-1 victory over Almeria to climb to 13th, two points in front of the relegation zone, leaving their opponents in 19th.

Inside Barcelona’s first game after being accused of corruption by the Spanish team’s lawyers, they closed the whistle and stepped back to their first title since 2019.

The Catalans kept their 19th clean sheet in 25 La Liga games this season as they held on to earn their ninth 1-0 win of the season, keeping Madrid second for the duration of the season. the fifth when the champion won. Spanish on Saturday.

Goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen made impressive contributions in the second half and Alex Berenguer hit the post, but Athletic could not break the league leaders.

When Inaki Williams was late, the goal was disallowed after VAR spotted Iker Muniain’s ball in the build-up.

“At the end of the day what matters (is holding on), we defend with everyone, including the goal, on the goal line, these are the games we have to win,” he said. a Ter Stegen DAZN.

“I didn’t see the disallowed goal, but that’s why we have VAR. It’s a decision that the officials have to make. We’re very happy to keep another clean sheet.”

With Ronald Araujo suspended, Xavi used Jules Kounde alongside Andreas Christensen and started Sergi Roberto on the right.

The visitors put up a back-to-the-wall display to keep Athletic out.

Athletes have thrown security deposits with the word “mafia” printed on them into the air, in protest after Barcelona’s corruption charges.

“I respect the fans at San Mames, they always treat me well,” said Xavi.

“It surprises me in this atmosphere of hatred towards Barça. I regret that there is hatred against Barça in San Mames, I don’t think it is good for society.”

On the pitch the Catalans were also under pressure, with Ter Stegen denying Williams and Raul Garcia headed in a cross.

Raphinha finished off Sergio Busquets’ clever pass before the break, against the run of play, with top scorer Robert Lewandowski missing two good chances on his return from the injury.

Athletic finished again after that, with Berenguer hitting the post and Ter Stegen denying Muniain.

Williams finally beat Ter Stegen after racing across goal but Athletic were furious when Muniain’s ball was spotted early in the action.

The win leaves the Catalans in good standing ahead of next Sunday’s Clasico at Camp Nou, while Athletic are without a win in five at the top.

“I think VAR is there to correct big mistakes,” Valverde told DAZN.

“There were many mistakes, the ball went in, or it didn’t. Call the referee because he touched him, or didn’t touch him… I don’t know if this is the case in the football world.”

Real Sociedad have won just once in their last nine games in all competitions and were upset by hosts Mallorca, 10th.

The Basque side remains fourth, level on 45 points with third place Atletico Madrid, who visit Girona on Monday.

Carlos Fernandez got Real Sociedad off the hook early on but failed to extend their lead, and Lee Kang-In soon paid the price.

Real Sociedad captain Mikel Merino’s late dismissal for a tackle on Abdon Prats made the afternoon worse.

“The day we wanted to win and the reaction of the team after their goal was amazing,” said the coach of Real Sociedad, Imanol Alguacil.

“Being close (to victory), it got away from us, and we can’t do anything else but reset and try to improve.”

However, Real Betis, fifth, or Villarreal, sixth, could not enter, sharing a 1-1 draw at the Estadio de la Ceramica, with Yeremy Pino’s goal canceling Borja Iglesias’ start.

Sevilla came from behind to beat Almeria in a crucial battle at the bottom.

Sergio Akieme sent the visitors ahead but Lucas Ocampos was outstanding from the penalty spot.

Lamela headed home Bryan Gil’s cross to win for Sevilla after 73 minutes, helping Jorge Sampaoli’s side bounce back after they were hammered by Atletico in the end of the week.


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