– Athletic Bilbao were handed a 3-2 defeat by Barcelona
– Lionel Messi’s brace and Pedri’s first-half goal fired the Catalans to victory
– Ronald Koeman’s men have now risen to third on La Liga table
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Two goals from Lionel Messi and one from Pedri were all Barcelona needed to come from a goal down and beat stubborn Athletic Bilbao at San Mames Barria on Wednesday, January 7.
The victory ensured Ronald Koeman’s men claim their second triumph in the New Year while they climb to the third position on the La Liga table.
Inaki Williams powered the home team ahead just three minutes into the game following an error from the Catalans defenders as Marc-Andre ter Stegen was made to concede an early goal.
The 26-year-old got a pass from his teammate and made a run down the left flank into the guests’ danger zone before sending it into the back of the net.
Pedri leveled the parity for the away team in the 14th minute with a simple header from close range after Frenkie de Jong looped Lionel Messi’s long pass into the six-yard.
The Argentine started the move from the left flank after delivering a long ball which almost went out of play but for De Jong’s intervention and the effort ended up in the back of the net.
Seven minutes before the opening half wrapped up, Barcelona took the lead for the first time in the game, and this time it was Messi who recorded his name on the scores sheet.
The 33-year-old placed the ball at the bottom left of the post after Pedri left him a back pass at the edge of the 18-yard.
Messi completed his double in the 62nd minute with another stylish goal after combining well with Antoine Griezmann.
Iker Muniain managed to reduce his side’s deficit towards the end of the game but they didn’t have enough time to salvage a draw for themselves as the Catalans ran off with maximum points.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Barcelona recorded a slim 1-0 win away at Huesca as they returned to winning ways in their La Liga 2020-21 campaign.
The only goal of the game was scored by Dutch midfielder Frenkie de Jong as seemed to be the match-winner for the Catalan giants.
It was a well dominated first half by Barcelona as they created several chances on goal with the home side defending in m, most parts of the first 45 minutes.
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