Athletic ATH
2
Williams 2',Muniain 89'
Barcelona BCN
3
Pedri 13',Messi 37', 61'
Completed

Athletic 2-3 Barcelona: result, goals and summary

Rob Train

COMMENT

Athletic 2-3 Barcelona: as it happened

Thanks for joining us for this festive fixture! 

90+3

And that's the whistle! A fine game of football ends 3-2 to Barça and Koeman's side move up to third in LaLiga. Encouraging for Marcelino, whose side were always in the game and a little more pause in front of goal may have reaped a result for the home side. 

90+2

Athletic pushing for the equaliser and hearts in mouths on the Barça bench as the ref blows in the area and points... for a Barça free kick as Williams clatters Busquets aside. 

90

Three minutes added! 

Messi makes a huge error in his own half and gifts the ball to Athletic. Berenguer finds Muniain and the captain buries a low, first-time shot past Ter Stegen! 

89

Goooooooooooooool! Muniain! Athletic back in it! 

Barça will move up to third if the result here stays the same. 

Pts MP W D L
1 38 15 12 2 1
2 36 17 11 3 3
3 31 17 9 4 4
4 30 18 8 6 4
5 29 17 7 8 2
86

Simón! The Athletic keeper makes a sprawling stop to deny Braithwaite from Messi's pass. 

85

Morcillo and Williams combine and the sub is through but his shot deflects for a corner. 

84

Williams gets half a sniff in the area but the Athletic forward has little left in the tank in Barça scrape it clear. 

82

Morcillo with more good work; the winger fires in a cross, Muniain lets it roll for Berenguer and the substitute lashes a shot high into the stands. 

80

The young winger is on the ball straight away, selling Migueza a dummy and firing in a decent cross but Ter Stegen rises to claim it. 

79

Raúl García off for Athletic, Jon Morcillo on. 

77

Barça very deliberate in possession now, Koeman has obviously told them to try and take any remaining sting out of Athletic's counters. 

73

Braithwaite and Mingueza on for Barça, Dembélé and Dest make way. 

71

Messi! Off the woodwork again! The Barça captain clips a first-time shot and it whacks the meat of the same post he hit a few minutes ago! 

70

Dani García in the book for trying to swap shirts with Messi a little too early. 

69

Athletic are getting forward more in this half, using their wide men to better effect, but there is only Williams available in the middle and Barça have him comfortably under wraps. Time for Asier Villalibre? He is the only target man striker Marcelino can call on. 

66

Balenziaga does well on the left to find Williams in the centre but the sriker's first touch lets him down and a chance goes begging. 

 

64

Berenguer and Dani García on for Athletic, De Marcos and Vesga off. 

Messi starts a move on the right, Dest knocks it to Griezmann who reads the Argentinean's run and plays a beautifully weighted ball that Messi smacks in off the underside of the bar!  

61

Gooooooooooooooool! Messi! What a belter! 

58

Messi! A trademark curler towards the top corner almost sneaks in but pings off the joint between post and crossbar! 

56

That's a bit harsh on Lenglet, who tried to get the ball back into play quickly for a throw but lobbed it onto the pitch by mistake. The ref takes a dim view and notes his name down. The Frenchman will now be suspended for Barça's next game, which is not ideal for Koeman. 

54

Muniain and Williams attempt to pick a way through but Griezmann is back to help out in defence and nicks the ball from the Athletic captain's boot. 

53

And the eye in the sky speaks! Offside. Messi was a smidge ahead of the last Athletic shoulder. 

52

Messi is through and has the ball in the net but the flag is up... to VAR we go! 

51

Raúl García! So close for Athletic! The veteran bruiser arrives at the far post for a ball sitting up for a left foot but he tries to twist his body and connect with right, which does not go as planned. 

48

There were half-hearted claims for a penalty there as it appeared to hit Araújo's shoulder but the Baça defender was sprawled on the turf anyway. 

47

Vencedor! Barça half-clear a cross and the recently promoted Bilbao Athletic midfielder hits a shot through a sea of legs, clipping Araújo and forcing Ter Stegen into a stop. 

46

Back underway in San Mamés! 

A lively first half with 12 attempts on goal and the tackles flying in. What will Marcelino do in the second? Plan A worked but then Barça adjusted and Athletic have been blunt up top since then. 

45+2

And there's the whistle! Athletic started that half brightly and could have added to their advantage before Barça wrested control back and scored two wonderfully contructed goals to take the lead. 

45+1

Athletic are trying to just keep the ball in their possession to run the clock down and regroup. 

45

Two minutes added. 

44

Athletic are having no luck in attack now, their one ploy of sending Williams scurrying through onto balls splitting the two Barça central defenders has been shut down. 

42

Messi! The Argentinean is played in by Griezmann and almost scores a carbon copy goal in the other corner but his effort fizzes past the post. 

39

Griezmann! He's landed those before! The Frenchman, a former Real Sociedad player lest we forget, drills a shot with the outside of his boot but Simón has it covered. 

A one-two with Pedri and the Argentinean picks up the Spaniard's deft backheel and simply passes the ball into the bottom corner with Simón rooted to the spot. 

38

Gooooooooooooooool! Messi! 

37

Predictably taken short for Messi to whip in a cross, but Athletic clear. 

36

Free kick out on the left as Williams flattens Griezmann. 

35

Dest! Great defending from the Barça man as he manages to stay on his feet and clear a wicked cross under pressure from Muniain. 

34

Dembélé! A turn of pace, a switch of the feet and a left-footed effort arcing for the top corner but Simón is there to make the save. 

32

Lenglet is on the wrong end of a García boot this time and goes down in agony. 

30

And that's the end of Berchiche's evening, Mikel Balenziaga on to replace him. 

29

Problems for Marcelino now as Yuri Berchiche pulls up clutching his hamstring as he prepared to chase down Dembélé. 

27

Mikel Vesga goes into the book for clipping Dembélé's heels. The Barça man is like lightning over 10 yards and the Athletic midfielder was left with little choice. 

25

Raúl García is down after a clash of boots with Busquets. The old campaigner is up again swiftly enough though. 

24

Barça almost pull off a similar move to the goal, Busquets this time finding Messi to turn the ball back into the danger area. The flag is up though. 

23

Simón again! Another stop for the Spain keeper, who turns Alba's effort round the post for a corner. 

21

Both sides locked in a midfield struggle now, Barça have spotted that Athletic's swift direct passing was opening up the middle and have closed ranks to keep Williams in check. 

18

Dembélé is looking sharp this evening, the Frenchman has been a constant threat on the Barça right. 

15

A frantic opening 15 minutes and both sides on the score sheet. More nitpicky observers than us might suggest both keepers should have done better, but the two attacking moves were exceptional.  

Messi hits a ball from one side to the other and it looks like it's going out but De Jong leaps at the far post to turn it back into the area, where Pedri is waiting to nod home unmarked. An incredible piece of acrobatics from the Dutchman and it's 1-1! 

14

Goooooooooooooooool! Pedri! Barça are level! 

13

Simón! Another fantastic save from the Athletic keeper denies Dembélé, who hit a rasping shot from the edge of the area. 

12

Williams! Muniain puts the striker through again and Ter Stegen is forced into a save although the angle didn't favour the Athletic number nine. 

10

Muniain! The Athletic captain spins and twists in the area and buts a yard before firing towards goal but it nicks a defender and Barça escape again. 

7

Unai Simón! What a save from the Athletic keeper! Messi and Griezmann combine to leave Dest with the easy job and he hits his shot well enough but Simón pulls off a wonderful save to deny the USA international. 

5

Athletic almost have another! Muniain and Unai combine to tee up Yuri Berchiche on the left, the defender thwacking a shot into the side netting. 

The striker slips between two defenders and latches onto a through ball before turning Lenglet in the area and firing low past Ter Stegen! Marcelino enjoyed that! 

3

Goooooooooooooooool! Iñaki Williams! What a start for Athletic! 

3

Athletic whump a ball over the top for Williams to chase, straight into the paws of Ter Stegen. 

2

Free kick to Athletic as Busquets lets Williams know he's on the pitch. 

1

Here we go! Athletic get the ball rolling! 

The teams are coming out and we are about ready to rumble in the Lions' den! 

Final warm-ups underway... should be a decent game tonight!

Marcelino arriving at San Mamés to take the reins. It's a decent appointment by Athletic, who have brought the wee man in to try and shake up a side that had become a little predictable under Garitano. 

Messi 750

Barcelona starting XI confirmed

Araújo retains his place in defence with Dest looking likely to switch flanks to accommodate Alba. Dembélé, Griezmann and Messi will form the attack with Pedri in support. 

Athletic starting XI confirmed

Marcelino has announced his first Athletic line-up and Raúl García gets the nod to partner Iñaki Williams up top. Muniain and De Marcos will provide some width with the standard back five deployed. 

There will be no Aritz Aduriz this evening, the long-serving striker having called it a day at the end of last season. Over three spells comprising 12 seasons, Aduriz banged in 172 goals for Athletic, his most famous being four in the Spanish Super Cup in 2015, which Athletic lifted after a 5-1 aggregate triumph over Barcelona. 

It is a lovely stadium. The old San Mamés was perhaps unmatched in LaLiga for atmosphere but was a rather rickety old place and the Lions' new home is a worthy arena for one of the only three sides never to have been relegated from the top flight. 

Athletic squad

Marcelino will be eager to stamp his identity on a side who have been struggling to find one this season and it will be interesting to see how the Athletic boss lines up. Asier Villalibre is always an unpredictable element and Iñaki Williams will fancy his chances against Barça's back four. 

Barcelona squad

Samuel Umtiti is available again for Barça but has looked understandably rusty after such a long lay-off and Ronald Araújo will likely continue in the heart of defence. The Barça B graduate, along with the now-undroppable Pedri and Sergiño Dest, represent the high end of last summer's recruitment.  

In terms of absentees, Barça are the more significantly hampered side. Gerard Piqué, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto and Philippe Coutinho remain out for the visitors, while the hosts are without Peru Nolaskoain, Unai López and Yeray Álvarez. 

It had been all Barcelona in this fixture until last season, when Athletic scored a 1-0 victory in San Mamés to end a run of six years without a league win against the Catalan outfit. In the last 20 Liga meetings between the sides, Athletic have managed four draws and two wins. 

Athletic were a model of inconsistency under Garitano, only recording the same result twice so far in 2020-21 Liga action when The Lions lost two on the bounce back in October. Marcelino will be looking to get off to a flyer against Barça and has the attacking options to test a defence that have been far from solid this season. 

Barça scraped past Huesca in their last outing and were held to a 1-1 draw by Eibar in the previous game, but it is Koeman's away record that has hampered any real sign of progression this season. The Dutchman has overseen three wins, three defeats and a draw, but Barça have won on their last two away days at Valladolid and Huesca. 

For Ronald Koeman, this postponed fixture is his final game in hand as the Barça boss seeks to haul back a deficit of 10 points on Atlético - who still have two spares themselves - and an eight-point gap to Real Madrid. This is a big game for the visitors, who have hardly been in stellar form themselves this season, a 3-0 victory at Valladolid proving the exception to a rule that generally sees Barça struggle to put games away. 

Pts MP W D L
3 30 18 8 6 4
4 29 17 7 8 2
5 28 16 8 4 4
6 27 15 8 3 4
7 24 16 7 3 6

Marcelino takes over at San Mamés with Athletic poised in a decent position within the top 10, but he will have been handed a mandate to improve performances on the pitch as much as overseeing an upturn in results after some pretty industrial output on the pitch under Garitano. 

Pts MP W D L
7 24 16 7 3 6
8 23 17 6 5 6
9 21 17 6 3 8
10 20 17 5 5 7
11 20 17 6 2 9

This will be Marcelino's first game in charge at Athletic after the former Valencia manager was installed in place of Gaizka Garitano at the weekend. The well-travelled coach is always a fan favourite and knows his way around a chalkboard as well, having beaten Barça to lift the 2019 Copa del Rey while still at Mestalla. 

Athletic Bilbao vs Barcelona: welcome

Hello and welcome to AS English's live coverage of the rescheduled Week 2 LaLiga fixture between Athletic and Barcelona from San Mamés. Kick-off is at 21:00. 

.