Athletic Club - FC Barcelona
Matchday 27

Athletic Club - FC Barcelona

Athletic Club
Athletic Club
FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona

LocationSan Mamés , Bilbo

50.295 assistants

Athletic neutralise Barça and take another step towards Europe

Los Leones produce an excellent defensive display to earn a valuable point and strengthen their grip on a European place

Athletic Club remain unbeatable at San Mamés, where they have not lost since the the first weekend of the season. 

A goalless draw against a Barcelona side on the up provides a valuable point which helps Athletic strengthen their grip on fifth place.

Real Betis are now eight points behind the Lions, while Real Sociedad are ten points back.

The Zurigorri, who had made three changes to the backline after Thursday's Copa match, played a superb defensive game to nulify Barça. For example, Beñat Prados, featuring at right-back, and left-back Imanol were solid on the flanks.

Xavi Hernandez's side only truly threatened on one occasion. It came in in the 25th minute, when Unai Simón blocked a Fermín Lopez shot on the edge of the area and Joao Cancelo produced a tremendous lob from midfield on the rebound.

Fortunately, Simón got a touch to it and centre-back Yeray cleared it off the line. It was the only fright of the match for a much-changed Athletic side. 

The clash was evenly balanced: the same amount of shots, the same amount of corners. Barça suffered serious injuries with Frankie de Jong and Pedri coming off.

They had had the whole week to prepare for the match and the truth is they were not superior at any time.

Alex Berenguer and Unai Gómez ran at the Catalans' backline whenever they could, while at the other end Fermín and Lamine Yamal looked menacing but failed to produce any moments of real danger.

Xavi Hernandez's men were on a mission to close the gap to the top, but Athletic stood in the way. Aitor Paredes blocked out Robert Lewandowski in the only occasion Barça startled the San Mames crown in the entire second half.

The game ended with Dani García mistiming a header when he found himself in space from a corner. 

Before kick-off, Athletic paid tribute to Club Member Miguel Ocio, who passed away on Friday after being attended to by San Mames medical staff during the Copa semi-final.