Lionel Messi missed his penalty with Athletic Bilbao Team
Barcelona starts first Division title defence with a ratio of 1-0 victory with Athletic Bilbao .Despite Lionel Messi missing a first-half penalty.However, unlike 9 days ago, when the hosts won 4-0 at San Mames, reigning Spanish and European champions Barca were far less erratic and Luis Suarez has scored the game’s only goal.Perhaps surprisingly given the recent history between the two sides in which Athletic’s team high intensity and pressing had been key to winning their first trophy in 31 years, Barca’s opening to the game resembled a pre-season friendly.
Barcelona celebrate after Luis Suarez scored. Athletic’s Gorka Elustondo misjudged a bouncing ball, allowed Suarez to take possession and then felled him in the penalty area. The decision may have been harsh given he also appeared to win the ball, too, but goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz reacted well in diving low to his right to push Lionel Messi’s softly-struck penalty wide. It took a further 23 minutes for Athletic to truly threaten and when they did, through Aritz Aduriz – their inspiration when winning the SuperCopa – playing in Markel Susaeta, the latter could only shoot harmlessly hide and wide.
In the final 5 minutes Suarez again sent the ball into the back of the net, with an exceptional 30-yard chip, but he was judged to be offside from Messi’s pass . Messi almost immediately forced a save from Iraizoz with a weak shot having impressively dribbled past several defenders, though a goal escaped from danger .