Athletic Bilbao 1-0 Barcelona: 3 reasons why Barcelona suffered a defeat
Barcelona had a horrendous start to their LaLiga title defense as the champions suffered a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Athletic Bilbao at San Mames. For the home side, the only goal was scored by Aritz Aduriz.
In the first half of the game, the home side started with more intensity and had more control over the proceedings. Inaki Williams was denied by Marc-Andre ter Stegen twice.
Luis Suarez got injured in the 37th minute but before that, the Uruguayan hit the post from very close in when he should have scored. Rafinha was substituted in place of Suarez and the Brazilian hit the bar with a great effort. The first half ended all square.
In the second half of the game, Ivan Rakitic was brought in by Ernesto Valverde in place of Carles Alena and the Blaugrana started dominating possession. They didn't create many chances though and only registered shots from a distance.
At the 89th minute, Bilbao substitute, Aduriz popped up to score an absolute blinder. It was an overhead kick from the veteran Spaniard and that goal was enough to give Bilbao the three points.
In this article, we are going to take a look at the three reasons why Barcelona lost the game:
#3 A rusty and inexperienced Barcelona starting XI
Ernesto Valverde started this game with a midfield three of Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong and Carles Alena. The young Alena had a very bad game as he failed to make any sort of impact on the game.
Also, after Luis Suarez got injured, Rafinha was brought in place of him and the Brazilian played on the left wing, a position he doesn't deputize in. Also, not starting either of Ivan Rakitic and Sergio Busquets meant that Barcelona had a very inexperienced midfield.
Another factor for the rustiness of the Barcelona players could be the fact that Athletic Bilbao had a longer pre-season than the Spanish champions. This meant that Bilbao came into this game better prepared.