There's no shame in losing to goals Messi, Suarez and Neymar.. and the Basques can go home with their heads held high.
Barcelona played in second gear most of the 90 mins, but turned it on when needed and let out a statement of intent to everyone in Spain - write them off at your own bloody risk. Suarez and Neymar now remember what scoring feels like, and Messi is enjoying his football. That's a potent darn combination.
It was a pleasure bring the match to you - and thank you for reading.
Anirudh Menon signing out.. have a wonderful night's sleep.
91' Three minutes to be added on and Messi takes the ball to the corner - no one is taking the ball off him - but the Argentine gets bored and offloads it to Rakitic who finds Roberto who in turn passes it to Suarez who is in ACRES of space. The Uruguayan unselfishly rolls it into the feet of Denis Suarez, but the young man flashes it over the bar. The senior Suarez is not best pleased. Unselfishness and all is okay - but you better finish when he gifts you a chance!
89' Inaki Williams is still full of running, and tries to get in behind Sergi Roberto, but the experienced head of Gerard Pique is covering behind him. Just as Puyol used to do so for the young Pique. Ah! It's so nice to see someone mature in front of your own eyes neh.
87' Athletic are going route-one now, and there's nothing wrong with that - but Benat's long ball is just too much for Balenziaga to bring under control. Meanwhile another standing ovation for a surprisingly under-par Andres Iniesta (he always deserve a standing ovation, though) and on comes Arda Turan.
86' Neymar gets a standing ovation as he gets substituted for Denis Suarez. I suspect that was Lucho's intention - to let the Brazilian know just how much the fans love him. If the smile on Neymar's face is any indication, he knows it.
83' Bilbao are still in with a shout, a very faint shout, but they should not just give up the ghost. And they aren't doing anything of the sort... but Susueta gets marshalled away by Pique - and the ball is back in the visitors' third in the blink of an eye.
80' ya Neymar, ya Neymar, ya Neymar. The Brazilian showed some astonishing twinkling feet as he sent three Basque defenders sliding all over the Camp Nou turf before smacking the ball gainst the post from all of five yards! ya Neymaaar!
Athletic sought trouble, and trouble did find them. Messi does NOT miss three straight opportunities as he arrows the kick into the bottom corner. That caught everyone one out! WHAT A PLAYER THIS MAN IS
73' Barcelona continue their patient probing. There is something truly admirable about the way they go about their business regardless of the situation, neh? Frustrating at times, but admirable nonetheless
72' Elmundo goes into the book for a hoof at the back of Neymar's leg - well deserved yellow that. For all the stick that Neymar gets for diving, we must also acknowledge the fact that he does in fact get kicked around like a rag doll
67' Luis Suarez hammers a shot at goal, but unusually for him he had hesitated before pulling the trigger - and that's well wide. These Barca superstars all look like they are not at a 100%... and that could cost them today.
66' Phew! What a series of passes that was from Barca. Neymar's golden first touch, Leo Messi's turn of pace and Iniesta's velcro-on-the-boots dribbling all featured in that - but nothing comes off it.
65' Barcelona are playing with the unhurried assurance of a team that knows it can win - but there is something wrong with Iniesta today, and the great man misplaces yet another through ball to Jordi Alba. It's almost painful watching him lose possession like this!
60' Iniesta tries to accelerate through the middle in that incredibly elegant way of his, but Laporte is not going to be beaten tonight. Jordi Alba tries to disprove that by driving in, and hammering a shot with his right foot, but it's a hammering only in his mind, and the ball rolls into the arms of Irazoiz