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Host Athletic Bilbao scored early and late on Wednesday, but Lionel Messi helped Barcelona claim all three points.
Lionel Messi scored twice and Barcelona ruined Marcelino’s first match in charge of Athletic Bilbao with a close 3-2 win at San Mamés.
Iñaki Williams made an instant impression on Athletic’s new manager, appointed after Gaizka Garitano’s dismissal, by scoring within three minutes for the home team on Wednesday.
Taking advantage of a ridiculously high defensive line, the striker escaped from inside his own half and, after slashing the inside of a half challenge from Clement Lenglet, fired over Marc-Andre ter Stegen to break the deadlock.
However, with Messi at the helm, Barça recovered from the reverse to turn the game around in the interval, albeit with some help from the hosts.
2 – Lionel Messi
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Unai Simon was tempted to deal with a seemingly excessive cross from Messi for the equalizer, the alert Frenkie de Jong reached out to volley the ball back to center for Pedri to head into an unguarded net.
The Athletic goalkeeper was caught again when his team conceded seven minutes before the break, Pedri, the provider, as his cunning heel assist prepared the supporting Messi to pass the ball, Simon, who had initially been quick to wait for the teenager will shoot. stranded out of position.
Athletic briefly threatened to bounce back early in the second half, but it was always their opponents who carried the greatest threat in attack.
Having seen a goal disallowed for offside and a long-range shot denied by a post, Messi finally scored again by sweeping Antoine Griezmann’s direct pass over the bottom of the crossbar.
There was a late drama when a loss of possession allowed Alex Berenguer to put Iker Muniain on the first goal that narrowed the gap in the 90th minute, but Barca held firm to claim all three points.