Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Bilbao: 5 Talking Points
Barcelona eased past Athletic Bilbao to inch closer to the La Liga title
Goalscorers: Paco Alcacer 8' Lionel Messi 30'
It was an evening of matter-of-fact football from the Catalan giants as they strolled past a leaden-footed Athletic Bilbao who never got going on the night.
It took Barcelona all of 8 minutes to score as they caught the Athletic Bilbao defenders napping inside the area, with Paco Alcacer opening the scoring from a Jordi Alba cut back.
Barcelona weaved their magic at the Camp Nou for a bit and Philippe Coutinho hit the woodwork before Lionel Messi smashed an absolute peach into the bottom corner from right outside the box.
Coutinho and Paulinho would then test the timber with a shot each, but they spent the rest of the night sitting back without getting forced out of their comfort zone.
They inched closer to the La Liga title and kept their undefeated run in tact and here are the 5 talking points from the game:
#5 The future is bright for Barcelona
Barcelona were written off as looking like a tattered vessel before the season even started rolling. But fast forward 7 months and they look more sorted than any of the biggies in Europe.
There is Ousmane Dembele rollicking about the right wing. Philippe Coutinho is gleefully settling into life at the Camp Nou and in the absence of Nelson Semedo, Sergi Roberto is growing into a force to reckon with for Ernesto Valverde.
Samuel Umtiti is a rock-solid presence at the back and this Barcelona side can boast of having an enviable balance of experience and the exuberance of youth.
Paco Alcacer has also made the most of the chances that he has been afforded and even though he might still not be on the same level as his illustrious teammates, he took the one glorious chance early on in the game with great composure and precision to back it to open the scoring for Barcelona.
It will be a ridiculously difficult task breaking down this Barcelona side and it could just continue to be so for a very long time.