Athletic Club's Aduriz downs Barcelona with golazo

Published on: 16 August 2019

Lionel Messi was sorely missed as a lacklustre Barcelona were downed by an Aritz Aduriz golazo in a 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga season opener at San Mames on Friday night.

The buildup to the match was dominated by the news that Messi was unfit to play and the imminent loan move of Philippe Coutinho to Bayern Munich.

The opening 30 minutes were dominated by the hosts with Marc-Andre ter Stegen twice called into action to keep out quality efforts by Inaki Williams before the quarter hour.

Barca's best first-half chance was gifted to them when Athletic's Unai Lopez played a back pass right to the feet of Luis Suarez only for the Uruguayan to smash his shot off the post with only the keeper to beat.

Suarez picked up a knock on the play and made way for Rafinha on 37 minutes and the Brazilian rattled the crossbar minutes later before the teams headed to dressing room locked in a scoreless draw.

It was more of the same for Barcelona in the second half, with Rafinha the lone bright spot as Ernesto Valverde's side only managed one shot on goal in the entire match despite dominating possession.

With the match looking likely to end in a draw, substitute Aduriz smashed home a spectacular scissor-kick goal just after coming into the match to hand Athletic all three points and Barca a shock loss to start the season.

Next up for Barcelona is a home match against Real Betis in which Messi could return to action.