FC Barcelona got back to winning ways in LaLiga after overcoming a stubborn Athletic Bilbao 1-0 on Tuesday evening at the Camp Nou.
The home side opted for two changes from the side that drew a blank at Sevilla, as Arthur Melo and Luis Suarez replaced Ivan Rakitic and Martin Braithwaite who dropped to the bench.
Suarez missed a great chance to give his side the lead after 15 minutes following good work from Lionel Messi, while Bilbao also had an opportunity to go ahead five minutes later after a ball into the area found Yeray Alvarez who strayed off target.
The travelling outfit thoroughly frustrated the home side thereafter with a rigid defensive -line that had Messi and co. struggling to get going, as Inaki Williams went close at the other end.
Barcelona aimed for more control following the start of the second half, but were in an awkward position with Bilbao’s pressing funnelling the side to play out from the back.
Bilbao shot-stopper Unai Simon produced his first save of the match with 54 minutes played, thwarting Antoine Griezmann who had looked to lob their opposite number.
Ansu Fati, who was on target against Leganes last week, replaced Griezmann after 65 minutes while Sergio Busquets made way for Rakitic minutes later.
Quique Setien’s men hit the front with over 20 minutes remaining through Rakitic, who lashed in a loose ball in the area following good work from Messi.
Messi looked to put the icing on the cake following the final minutes after slicing into the area to get goal-side from the left, but his wish didn’t materialise as the encounter finished 1-0.