Spanish La Liga
Ath BilbaoAthletic Bilbao2BarcelonaBarcelona3

Athletic Bilbao 2-3 Barcelona: Lionel Messi scores twice as Barcelona go third in La Liga

By Michael EmonsBBC Sport
Lionel Messi
Lionel Messi has scored five times in his past six La Liga games and has 12 goals for the season in all competitions

Lionel Messi scored twice as Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao to go third in La Liga.

Athletic took an early lead through Inaki Williams, but teenager Pedri equalised with a header soon after.

Messi, who also hit the post twice, then scored when he collected Pedri's backheel and shot past Unai Simon.

A powerful first-time shot from Messi made it 3-1 and Barcelona held on for the victory, despite a late 20-yard strike from Athletic's Iker Muniain.

The win takes Ronald Koeman's side above Real Sociedad and Villarreal; they are five points behind second-placed Real Madrid and seven adrift of leaders Atletico Madrid, who have two games in hand.

This was the first game for Athletic since Marcelino replaced former head coach Gaizka Garitano, who was sacked hours after Sunday's 1-0 win over Elche.

Marcelino's side needed just three minutes to go ahead as Williams sprinted clear, then cut inside defender Clement Lenglet to score.

However, their lead lasted only 11 minutes as Messi's cross went over Simon's head and Frenkie de Jong hooked the ball to Pedri to equalise.

Messi's first goal came just before half time following a one-two with Pedri and he scored his second with a powerful first-time strike following Antoine Griezmann's square pass.

Argentina forward Messi then gave the ball away and Muniain scored from Alex Berenguer's pass but it was not enough to deny Barcelona a win.

Since losing 3-0 at home to Juventus in the Champions League on 8 December, Barcelona have gone seven La Liga matches unbeaten, with five wins and two draws.


Ath Bilbao

Formation 4-4-2

  • 1Simón
  • 21Capa
  • 3Núñez
  • 4Martínez
  • 17BerchicheSubstituted forBalenziagaat 31'minutes
  • 18De MarcosSubstituted forBerenguer Remiroat 65'minutes
  • 27Vencedor
  • 6VesgaBooked at 27minsSubstituted forGarcía Carrilloat 65'minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 10Muniain
  • 22GarcíaSubstituted forMorcilloat 80'minutes
  • 9Williams


  • 2Morcillo
  • 7Gómez
  • 11Córdoba
  • 12Berenguer Remiro
  • 13Ezkieta
  • 14García Carrillo
  • 15Lekue
  • 16Sancet
  • 19Kodro
  • 20Villalibre
  • 24Balenziaga
  • 26Vicente


Formation 4-3-3

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 2DestSubstituted forMinguezaat 75'minutes
  • 4Araujo
  • 15LengletBooked at 57mins
  • 18Alba
  • 21de Jong
  • 5Busquets
  • 16González
  • 11DembéléSubstituted forBraithwaiteat 75'minutes
  • 10Messi
  • 7Griezmann


  • 8Pjanic
  • 9Braithwaite
  • 12Puig
  • 13Murara Neto
  • 17Machado Trincão
  • 23Umtiti
  • 24Firpo
  • 26Peña
  • 28Mingueza
  • 29De la Fuente
Carlos del Cerro Grande

Match Stats

Home TeamAth BilbaoAway TeamBarcelona
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Athletic Club 2, Barcelona 3.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Athletic Club 2, Barcelona 3.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Athletic Club 2, Barcelona 3. Iker Muniain (Athletic Club) right footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alex Berenguer.

  4. Post update

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

  5. Post update

    Foul by Mikel Balenziaga (Athletic Club).

  6. Post update

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

  7. Post update

    Foul by Mikel Balenziaga (Athletic Club).

  8. Post update

    Corner, Athletic Club. Conceded by Ronald Araujo.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Lionel Messi (Barcelona).

  10. Post update

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

  11. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alex Berenguer (Athletic Club) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right.

  12. Post update

    Attempt saved. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordi Alba.

  13. Substitution

    Substitution, Athletic Club. Jon Morcillo replaces Raúl García.

  14. Post update

    Attempt missed. Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona) left footed shot from outside the box is too high.

  15. Post update

    Hand ball by Unai Vencedor (Athletic Club).

  16. Post update

    Corner, Athletic Club. Conceded by Martin Braithwaite.

  17. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Martin Braithwaite replaces Ousmane Dembélé.

  18. Substitution

    Substitution, Barcelona. Óscar Mingueza replaces Sergiño Dest.

  19. Post update

    Foul by Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona).

  20. Post update

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

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As It Stood

1Atl Madrid1512212962338
2Real Madrid17113330151536
4Real Sociedad1886427131430
8Celta Vigo176562224-223
9Ath Bilbao186392122-121
11Real Betis176292031-1120
15Real Valladolid174671624-818
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