Barcelona came from behind to avoid a fourth straight loss and beat Champions League-chasing Athletic Bilbao.

The victory keeps alive their slim hopes of defending their title as they sit four points behind Atletico Madrid.

Both sides hit the woodwork before Aritz Aduriz scored the 50th-minute opener for the visitors from outside the box following Marc Bartra's error.

Pedro levelled from close range and Lionel Messi scored the winner two minutes later with a low free-kick.

A lot of pre-match talk was about the future of Barca head coach Gerardo Martino following a disastrous eight-day spell.

La Liga table

Played Points

Head-to-head and not goal difference decides teams who are level on points. Atletico have a better record than Real, and have yet to play Barcelona for a second time

1. Atl Madrid

34

85

2. Barcelona

34

81

3. Real Madrid

33

79

They were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid, lost to Granada in the league last Saturday and then lost in Wednesday's Copa del Rey final to Real Madrid.

Martino has refused to speak about his future beyond this season and admitted his side only had a "slight" chance of retaining their league title.

Even with this comeback victory, it is likely to be a first season for Barcelona without any major trophy since 2007-08.

They started reasonably at the Nou Camp with Athletic's impressive goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz pulling off saves from Pedro and Messi.

Messi, who had not scored in those three defeats, had a goal disallowed for offside when he turned in Andres Iniesta's curling pass.

But Athletic showed their Champions League credentials and were agonisingly close to taking the lead when Aduriz's overhead kick hit the post with Markel Susaeta forcing Jose Manuel Pinto into a good save from the rebound.

Alexis Sanchez hit the crossbar at the other end when, from close range, he had the whole goal to aim for, before Iraizoz denied the Chilean and Pedro.

Early in the second half fourth-placed Athletic took the lead when Aduriz scored his 10th goal in eight games after Bartra failed to deal with the ball.

Moments later they could have made it 2-0 but Susaeta was marginally offside when he put the ball into the net after Javier Mascherano's mistake.

And after Pedro and Messi missed chances, the hosts finally got their breakthrough in the 72nd minute.

Dani Alves picked out Alexis Sanchez, whose scuffed shot went straight to Pedro, who calmly converted from close range.

And almost immediately they had a free-kick inches outside the box after Oscar De Marcos brought down Messi. The Argentine stepped up to fire the free-kick in the direction of keeper Iraizoz, who saw the ball late and let it squeeze past him.

They could have had a late third when Christian Tello poked the ball past Iraizoz with De Marcos clearing off the line.

And in injury-time he was almost made to pay when the ball fell to Mikel Rico but Mascherano did brilliantly to keep out the goalbound shot with Pinto well-beaten.

Barcelona are four points behind Atletico Madrid, whom they host on the final day. Real Madrid, who have a game in hand on both clubs, are another two points off Barca.

La Liga run-in

Atletico Madrid

Real Madrid

Barcelona

26-27 April

Valencia (A)

Osasuna (H)

Villarreal (A)

3-4 May

Levante (A)

Valencia (H)

Getafe (H)

7 May

Valladolid (A)

10-11 May

Malaga (H)

Celta Vigo (A)

Elche (A)

18 May

Barcelona (A)

Espanyol (H)

Atl Madrid (H)

Lineup, Bookings (5) & Substitutions (5)

Barcelona

  • 13 Pinto Colorado
  • 22 Dani Alves
  • 21 Adriano
  • 17 Song
  • 15 Bartra Booked
  • 14 Mascherano
  • 06 Xavi (Fábregas - 70' )
  • 08 Iniesta
  • 10 Messi
  • 09 Sánchez (Tello - 87' )
  • 07 Pedro Booked

Substitutes

  • 02 Montoya
  • 04 Fábregas
  • 19 Afellay
  • 20 Tello
  • 24 Sergi
  • 25 Olazábal Paredes
  • 26 Gómez Sola

Athletic Bilbao

  • 01 Iraizoz
  • 10 De Marcos Booked
  • 24 Balenziaga
  • 05 Morán (Rico Moreno - 64' )
  • 06 San José
  • 04 Laporte
  • 14 Susaeta (Toquero - 86' )
  • 08 Iturraspe Booked (Etxebarria Urkiaga - 83' )
  • 20 Aduriz
  • 21 Herrera Agüera Booked
  • 19 Muniain

Substitutes

  • 02 Toquero
  • 07 Etxebarria Urkiaga
  • 12 Albizua
  • 13 Herrerín Buisán
  • 15 Iraola
  • 16 Etxeita
  • 17 Rico Moreno
Ref: Juan Martínez Munuera
Att: 57,090

Match Stats

Shots

18 11

On target

8 4

Corners

9 4

Fouls

16 17

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Barcelona 2, Athletic Club 1.

90:00 +3:00 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Athletic Club 1.

90:00 +2:03

Foul by Adriano (Barcelona).

90:00 +2:03

Mikel Rico (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

90:00 +0:36

Offside, Barcelona. Lionel Messi tries a through ball, but Adriano is caught offside.

90:00 +0:15

Attempt blocked. Mikel Rico (Athletic Club) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Mikel Balenziaga with a cross.

88:28

Attempt missed. Cristian Tello (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Alexandre Song following a fast break.

86:40

Foul by Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona).

86:40

Ander (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

86:25 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Cristian Tello replaces Alexis Sánchez.

85:15 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Athletic Club. Gaizka Toquero replaces Markel Susaeta.

84:45

Attempt missed. Javier Mascherano (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high following a fast break.

82:45 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Athletic Club. Beñat replaces Ander Iturraspe.

82:31

Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

82:31

Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club) wins a free kick on the right wing.

81:00

Francesc Fábregas (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

81:00

Foul by Ander (Athletic Club).

79:26

Attempt blocked. Ander (Athletic Club) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ander Iturraspe.

78:58 Booking

Booking Pedro (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

78:52

Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

78:52

Iker Muniain (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:16

Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

78:16

Óscar De Marcos (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

76:59

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

76:59

Mikel Rico (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

76:48

Attempt saved. Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

76:23

Foul by Dani Alves (Barcelona).

76:23

Gorka Iraizoz (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:46

Corner, Athletic Club. Conceded by Javier Mascherano.

75:14

Adriano (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

75:14

Foul by Óscar De Marcos (Athletic Club).

73:56 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 2, Athletic Club 1. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) from a free kick with a left footed shot to the bottom left corner.

72:54 Booking

Booking Óscar De Marcos (Athletic Club) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

72:43

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

72:43

Foul by Óscar De Marcos (Athletic Club).

71:41 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 1, Athletic Club 1. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from very close range to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

70:59 Booking

Booking Ander (Athletic Club) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

70:51

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

70:51

Foul by Ander (Athletic Club).

69:43 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Barcelona. Francesc Fábregas replaces Xavi.

68:52

Foul by Alexandre Song (Barcelona).

68:52

Ander (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

68:13

Offside, Barcelona. Alexis Sánchez tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

67:57

Attempt missed. Adriano (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez with a cross.

67:13

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

66:30

Delay in match Gorka Iraizoz (Athletic Club) because of an injury.

65:47

Offside, Barcelona. Xavi tries a through ball, but Dani Alves is caught offside.

63:38 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Athletic Club. Mikel Rico replaces Erik Morán.

63:00

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

63:00

Foul by Mikel Balenziaga (Athletic Club).

62:17

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Pedro is caught offside.

61:57

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel San José.

60:11

Attempt missed. Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Ander.

59:28

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.

58:00

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

58:00

Foul by Ander (Athletic Club).

57:06

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Aymeric Laporte.

57:04

Attempt saved. Pedro (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Xavi.

55:26

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

55:26

Foul by Óscar De Marcos (Athletic Club).

54:52

Offside, Barcelona. Alexandre Song tries a through ball, but Alexis Sánchez is caught offside.

53:10

Offside, Athletic Club. Aritz Aduriz tries a through ball, but Markel Susaeta is caught offside.

52:42

Foul by Adriano (Barcelona).

52:42

Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club) wins a free kick on the right wing.

51:46

Foul by Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona).

51:46

Iker Muniain (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

49:42 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Barcelona 0, Athletic Club 1. Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner.

48:27

Foul by Alexandre Song (Barcelona).

48:27

Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club) wins a free kick on the right wing.

48:05

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.

47:08

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

47:08

Foul by Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Club).

45:00

Second Half begins Barcelona 0, Athletic Club 0.

45:00 +1:16 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Barcelona 0, Athletic Club 0.

44:44

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel San José.

43:15

Offside, Barcelona. Dani Alves tries a through ball, but Xavi is caught offside.

42:51

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Aymeric Laporte.

40:34

Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona).

40:34

Iker Muniain (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

39:25

Corner, Athletic Club. Conceded by Adriano.

38:36

Foul by Alexandre Song (Barcelona).

38:36

Iker Muniain (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

38:26

Attempt saved. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adriano with a cross.

37:46

Attempt saved. Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Adriano.

37:23

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the left wing.

37:23

Foul by Óscar De Marcos (Athletic Club).

31:34

Offside, Barcelona. Alexis Sánchez tries a through ball, but Pedro is caught offside.

31:33

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box. Assisted by Pedro.

30:46

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

30:46

Foul by Óscar De Marcos (Athletic Club).

29:21

Attempt saved. Markel Susaeta (Athletic Club) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

29:19

Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Óscar De Marcos with a cross.

26:28

Attempt blocked. Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ander with a headed pass.

22:22

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Óscar De Marcos.

21:34

Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

21:34

Foul by Erik Morán (Athletic Club).

20:52 Booking

Booking Marc Bartra (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

20:47

Foul by Marc Bartra (Barcelona).

20:47

Ander (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

20:04

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel Balenziaga.

20:01

Attempt blocked. Adriano (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

19:09

Lionel Messi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

19:09

Foul by Aymeric Laporte (Athletic Club).

17:59

Offside, Barcelona. Andrés Iniesta tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

17:40

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel Balenziaga.

17:38

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Lionel Messi following a set piece situation.

17:17

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

17:17

Foul by Ander (Athletic Club).

16:07

Dani Alves (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

16:07

Foul by Mikel Balenziaga (Athletic Club).

14:07

Attempt missed. Dani Alves (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a corner.

13:47

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Ander Iturraspe.

13:24

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel San José.

13:22

Attempt blocked. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked.

13:18

Attempt saved. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Pedro.

12:38

Attempt saved. Pedro (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi with a through ball.

10:29

Corner, Athletic Club. Conceded by Adriano.

9:21

Attempt missed. Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Markel Susaeta with a cross following a corner.

8:54

Corner, Athletic Club. Conceded by Pinto.

8:53

Attempt saved. Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) right footed shot from the right side of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ander with a through ball.

6:05 Booking

Booking Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Club) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

5:59

Pedro (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

5:59

Foul by Ander Iturraspe (Athletic Club).

3:44

Alexis Sánchez (Barcelona) wins a free kick on the right wing.

3:44

Foul by Mikel Balenziaga (Athletic Club).

2:56

Foul by Alexandre Song (Barcelona).

2:56

Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

2:28

Attempt missed. Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) header from the left side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Mikel San José following a set piece situation.

2:03

Foul by Pedro (Barcelona).

2:03

Ander (Athletic Club) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

0:28

Marc Bartra (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

0:28

Foul by Ander (Athletic Club).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

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