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Barcelona vs Athletic Bilbao Live Score and Commentary, La Liga 2017-18, BAR VS ATH

Full Time: Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Bilbao Paco Alcacer 8' Messi 30'
Updated: 18 March 2018 22:40 IST - Published: 18 March 2018 21:40 IST
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92' PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP!

Barcelona stroll home against Athletic Bilbao. It was pragmatic football from the Catalan giants. In Luis Suarez's absence, Paco Alcacer chipped in with the opener. And then it was down to the man of the hour, the man of the season, the man of the right nows right now, Lionel fricking Messi to provide cushion for Ernesto Valverde's men.

That's the last bit of banter from the yap centre and this is me Shambhu Ajith (@goddamnhunter- Twitter) signing out.

Ciao.
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91' A beautiful cross from the left side for Athletic. Should have made more from that but nobody's there to meet it as it goes away to become nothing.
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90' Athletic have lacked gravely in creativity tonight and it is the same thing that's keeping them at bay even in the 90th minute.
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88' Rakitic goes down and wins a freekick for Barcelona in their defensive half as disappointment is seeping into the Athletic Bilbao camp sure now.
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87' Messi has been absent from most of the action. But he runs past 3 defenders in third gear and nearly finishes it on the far side of Kepa but it whizzes past the far post for a goalkick.
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86' ter Stegen comes out and clears and Raul Garcia is flagged offside.
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86' Freekick for Athletic Bilbao on the right side.
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85' Aduriz tries to go the cheeky way and tries to pull off a deft chip but it is bread and butter for ter Stegen.
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84' Substitution for Barcelona.

Philippe Coutinho off. Andre Gomes on. He walks in once again to a loud roar. It's a brilliant sight this. Gomes running out to see the Camp Nou backing him as loudly as they can.
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83' Messi with acres of space on the right side but he can't get past the defenders and Athletic deal with the danger.
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82' Nunez plays one into the box but Aduriz can't get to it as Rakitic intervenes to quell the danger.
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81' Messi swivels past 2 defenders and cuts inside the from the right flank but his shot is deflected into the hands of Kepa. Athletic break on the counter and Inaki Williams wins a corner off of Roberto.
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80' Vidal wins a corner on the right flank as the game enters its business end.
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78' Messi tries to work something in the centre by trying to combine with Paulinho but the Brazilian hits the deck before he can get to it. He looks knackered. Barcelona are still on the ball and offering measured doses of magic every now and then. 
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76' Sergi Roberto launches it into the final third but it is too heavy and Coutinho will not get chase it down. Kepa comes out and collects it.
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75' Raul Garcia curls one into the box from the right wing and Aduriz gets to it but the ball is deflected away for a corner. The corner is rubbish once again.
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73' Substitution for Barcelona.

Paco Alcacer off. Aleix Vidal on.
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72' No chances either way for a while now and some poor passing ensures Athletic can't create something after getting possession back from Barcelona.
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71' Inaki Williams has a chance to put one in the net as he is afforded enough time to turn around inside the area but his shot is blocked by Pique and another Bilbao chance bites the dust.
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70' Athletic are pressing high up the pitch and as a result Barcelona are finding it a bit hard to keep the ball. Inaki Williams tries to deliver a cross from the right wing but Umtiti heads it out for a corner.

Substitution for Athletic.
Merino off. Aduriz on.
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68' Ball falls to Merino outside the area and he goes for goal but it is deflected and the pace is taken off the ball as it rolls into ter Stegen's grasp.
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67' Jordi Alba slides to prevent a lovely through ball into the box from reaching the striker. Lovely defending once again from the Spanish international.
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66' Iniesta with magic feet in their attacking half but he doesn't have any options to feed the ball to.
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65' You get the feeling that the next goal could be really crucial. If Barcelona get it, this game is done and dusted. But if Bilbao can somehow sneak one in, this match will have an exciting finish.

Merino pushes Paulinho to the ground right outside the area just when Athletic looked like they could create something of note.
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63' Substitution for Barcelona.

Ousmane Dembele walks off to thunderous applause. Andres Iniesta walks out to the same. Feels at Camp Nou. Pure feels.
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61' Garcia whips a cross into the area but Roberto rises and heads it clear.
Substitution for Athletic Bilbao.
Susaeta off. Inaki Williams on. This is going to be fun. I love this guy.
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60' Ousmane Dembele tracks back to great effect once again to steal the ball and run it out for a throw-in on the right side. This is an exciting and promising youngster who is willing to put in a shift every time he is on the field.
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58' Athletic probe in and around the area only for Barcelona to eventually clear it out of danger. Saborit subsequently goes for from 30 yards out and it's telegraphed into the stands.
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56' Barcelona get on the ball after Athletic play a stray pass and Coutinho plays a delightful give and go with Messi and gets the ball back inside the penalty box but he can't finish it off as he hits it straight at Kepa.
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55' Itturaspe crosses the ball into the box from the left side after picking up a delightful diagonal ball. But Umtiti heads it up into the air and ter Stegen collects it with ease.
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54' Messi hits the ball and Bilbao break on the counter. Merino isn't going to get to the through ball that was played in behind the Barca defence.
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53' San Jose pulls Leo Messi down as Barcelona break on the counter. Paulinho plays a measured pass to Leo and our man forays into the final third only to be brought down. A great chance for Barcelona to extend the lead. 30 yards out. The little magician stands by. Camp Nou slow claps through the build up.
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52' Corner comes to nothing. Iniesta is warming up and the Camp Nou welcomes him with a loud roar.
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52' Umtiti does enough to put Merino off as a more fired up Athletic Bilbao break on the counter once again. Bilbao have a corner.
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50' They take the corner short as Messi tries to work something on the outside of the box.But they concede possession and Athletic go for the kill on the counter. Merino gets the ball inside the area after some neat build up play but his shot is rather poor and it goes way wide of the mark.
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49' Coutinho uses his strength to hold on to the ball inside the area and wins a corner off of Raul Garcia who is not happy with the decision.
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48' Athletic spending more time in Barcelona's half. More positive stuff from there. But Roberto collects the ball and breaks on the counter. He serves one infield for Coutinho who runs into the box but his lay off to Messi on the left side is lacking in weight.
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47' Camp Nou roars as Coutinho swivels out of a tight space by dribbling past 3 players. WOOF.
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46' Lekue lets one rip from outside the box. ter Stegen's hurried clearance falls for Lekue in the centre and gets past one defender before unleashing a shot that slides wide of ter Stegen's right post.
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PEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! Barcelona get the game rolling again. More of the same? Let me know how you think this half is going to pan out on Twitter- @goddamnhunter

Substitution for Athletic Bilbao.
Benat off. Itturaspe on.
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45' PEEEEEEEEP! PEEEEEEEEEEEP! That's that in the first half at the Camp Nou. Barcelona are running away with this one. They lead 2-0 at the break thanks to Paco Alcacer's and Leo Messi's goals.
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44' Athletic Bilbao's corner is punched clear by ter Stegen but Bilbao regain possession but Susaeta can't come up with a good cross and Barcelona clear the danger. Should have made something of that.
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43' PAULINHO! HITS THE POST!

Ousmane Dembele goes on yet another enterprising run right into the heart of the Bilbao defence before laying it off to Paulinho to go for goal. The Brazilian goes for a Messi like trajectory with his shot but it just doesn't have enough bend to creep into the post.
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41' Jordi Alba backheels one into the path of Leo Messi as Barca break on the counter for the umpteenth time this evening. Messi feeds Barcelona on the left side but he drags it right back to him. Messi goes for goal from right outside the area but his shot hits Alcacer who can't get out of the way and he is flagged offside. Embarrassing for Barcelona's opening goal scorer today.
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39' The freekick is drilled in low and Barcelona clear the danger as Leo Messi breaks out into one of those absolutely staggering solo runs as he runs past 2 players before he is kicked to the ground by Lekue who will get a well deserved yellow card for his misgivings.
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38' Dembele tracks back and fouls Lekue on the left wing. His protests and earns a yellow card. These kids, I tell you. But Athletic have a freekick in a promising position on the left side. They can cross it in.
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37' Nunes has a salty exchange with Alcacer as he believes Alcacer's cynical challenge was beyond the rules of the game.
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36' Messi tries to keep the ball with some fancy footwork but he gets shoulder tackled to the ground but no foul says the ref. However, Athletic can't take advantage and their attack fizzles out before it can come to anything.
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34' Gorgeous football from Barcelona as Philippe Coutinho hits the cross bar again. Messi lays one off to Paulinho on the edge of the area and Paulinho lobs an almost perfectly weighted ball for Coutinho. The former Liverpool man tries to help it over Kepa but it hits the top of the crossbar and goes out for a goalkick. 
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33' Pique once again deals with an awkward ball from inside the box with great composure as this looks like its going to be yet another great game for him.