Athletic Bilbao reduced La Liga champions Barcelona to their first league defeat on Sunday night, which capped off a miserable week for Gerardo Martino’s men.
The visitors’ flame was doused in the 71st minute when Iker Muniain sidefooted home the impressive Markel Susaeta’s cross from the right side of the box to the delight of the San Mames crowd.
Coming on the heels of their 2-1 loss to Ajax Amsterdam in the midweek, the Baulgrana’s who were without star man Lionel Messi, lost their three points lead over Atletico Madrid, who secured a 2-0 victory at promoted Elche on Saturday, to share the summit on 40 points.
Real Madrid’s 4-0 victory on Saturday, inspired by a Gareth Bale’s hat-trick, now places them three points within the reach of the joint table-toppers.
It was the second occasion in fifteen matches so far in the ongoing season Barca have dropped points and their second loss since Messi, who is not due to return until January, suffered a hamstring injury.
The victory helped Bilbao move up to fourth on the log.
“This game had nothing to do with the one at Ajax,” midfielder Sergio Busquet opined. “Two losses have come in a row, but we have to keep going forward. Sure we made mistakes, but we also did things well. We played a good wide-open game against a great rival that knew how to pressure us.”