BARCELONA

Messi Guides Barcelona to 3rd Position With Win Over Athletic Bilbao

Leo Messi in action against Athletic Bilbao/Photo: FC Barcelona

Leo Messi and his two delightful goals against Athletic Bilbao yesterday has helped FC Barcelona move up to the 3rd position in La Liga.

Despite the early goal from Iñaki Williams, Barcelona managed to overcome the opponents lead by netting 3 sensational goals and exhibiting a spectacular game on Wednesday night.

With this game, Messi has climbed up the scoresheet for having 9 goals in 16 matches. The decadent 3-2 win over Bilbao has also made Ronald Koeman quiet optimistic in regards to the ongoing title race.

The Catalan giants now stand 5 points below arch-rivals Real Madrid, and 7 points adrift of new leaders Atletico Madrid, who still have two games in hand.

Messi in Athletic Bilbao 2-3 FC Barcelona Match Analysis:

Athletic Bilbao, under new coach Marcelina had a hand upfront after Iñaki Williams stroke a goal in the first three minutes. But their lead was quickly overshadowed by Pedri, who through Frenkie de Jong’ cross netted a smooth header.

Barcelona in the closing minutes of the first half turned the game into their favor, when Messi scored a spectacular goal after receiving a brilliant back-heel pass from Pedri.

In the second half, Antoine Griezmann and Pedri’ scrumptious play led Messi to score again.

Yet in the pain of defeat, Iker Muniain topped a goal in the final minutes, but Barcelona and their cool efforts left The Lions wounded in their own ground.

Manager and player reactions:

Manager Ronald Koeman was thrilled with joy and pride after seeing his team and their phenomenal performance,

“We knew it was an important game that’s how we approached it, and got three very important points.”

“I’m happy with the result and how we achieved it. We controlled the game, we played well, we created opportunities, and we scored great goals. We deserved to win the game and have this opportunity.”

— Ronald Koeman after the game against Athletic Bilbao

The Dutchman also saved some praises for the 18 year-old Pedri,

“He plays with so much maturity despite his age and most importantly he uses his head.”

— Ronald Koeman after the game against Athletic Bilbao

The young Spaniard also had his say over the impressive win at San Mames,

“We knew it was an important game and we prepared the game well. They scored a goal for us very early and it was a hard blow, but we were able to come back and we took three very important points.”

“I am happy for the team’s victory and the goal and the assist. La Liga is very long and anything can happen. We are going to continue fighting for the first place, which is what we would like and we must continue working, improving day by day.”

— Pedri Gonzalez after the game against Athletic Bilbao

Koeman earlier reflected his thoughts on winning the title as “difficult” after the bitter draw to Eibar. Yet he has enclosed a positive statement after yesterday’s triumph, stating “there’s always a chance.”

Barcelona, with winning three consecutive away games under Koeman will now try to wrap up their fourth against Granada this Saturday in an away clash.

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