Barcelona 2-0 Ath Bilbao: Neymar Bursts Bilbao Bubble

Neymar came off the bench to fire Barcelona to a 2-0 win over a resilient Athletic Bilbao to maintain their unbeaten start to the La Liga season.

The Brazil superstar broke the deadlock in the 79th minute, just over a quarter of an hour after coming on for Munir El Hadadi.

He sent his left-footed finish from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner of goal following a Lionel Messi pass.

He completed his brace 5 minutes later, slotting home unmarked from another Messi pull-back.

Neymar was only making his second Barca appearance since injuring his back at the World Cup in July.

Neymar Celebrates His Goal Against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou. Image: Getty.
Neymar Celebrates His Goal Against Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou. Image: Getty.

Much of the build-up to the game had been surrounded by off-field political issues, as Barcelona turned out on the pitch in their red and gold striped away shirt, the same colours as the Catalan flag to commemorate the region’s loss of sovereignty 300 years ago.

Luis Enrique’s side had struggled to make the best of their possession advantage, despite creating a host of chances before the 22-year-old’s arrival.

Bilbao goalkeeper Gorza Iraizoz denied the Catalans some gilt-edged chances, notably; Ivan Rakitic”s powerful low delivery and Munir’s attempt from point-blank range.

The Spanish teenager thought he had broken the deadlock at the start of the second period, when he swept home from close range, but his celebration was cut short by the linesman’s flag having failed to time his run.

The win means Barca maintains their 100 per cent start to the season ahead of a Uefa Champions League game at home to APOEL Nicosa.

Ernnest Valverde side returns to Europe’s biggest club competition for the first time in 16 years, as they entertain Ukrainians Shakhta Donetsk at the new San Mames.


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