Rafinha’s goal helps Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao / AFP
FC Barcelona won (1-0) against Athletic and were able to resist pressure from Real Madrid to maintain a nine-point lead on Sunday’s matchday 25 ahead of the next league ‘Clásico’. .
Real Madrid were within six points after beating Espanyol 3-1 at home on Saturday, but Barça returned to their first tie a day later at San Mamés.
Brazil’s Rafinha signed the winning goal for Barça at a first-half discount (45+1) with a goal from a cross shot inside the area after receiving a pass from Sergio Busquets. The play was reviewed by VAR and proved there was no offside.
VAR was also the star when Inaki Williams scored a goal in the 88th minute, but after video footage helped the referee determine that there had been an earlier handball by Iker Muniain on that play, the goal fell through. was canceled.
Every team had chances in the first half with alternatives in both areas until Rafinha scored.
Ferran Torres missed a volley just two minutes into the game. Athletic started the game and he nearly took the lead heading into the 30th minute. First, Inaki Williams (32) also missed wide, before Raul Garcia (33) headed the ball off the crossbar.
Athletic were unable to make up for the deficit in the second half, but they also had chances such as Alex Berenguer’s ball hitting the post in the 71st minute and Iker Muniain’s strike saved by Marc-André ter Stegen. .
A goal disallowed by Iñaki Williams in the 88th minute after the VAR review and an excellent double chance at the final discount and close range by Juri Berkisz and Oyer Salaga saved between Ter Stegen and Marcos Alonso. The attempts of the “Lions” particularly frustrated fans.
Despite suffering a lot in the end, Barcelona managed to maintain a comfortable nine-point cushion against Real Madrid, a week away from next Sunday’s ‘Clásico’ league at the Camp Nou. rice field.
The match also comes amid a storm of arbitration-corruption scandals involving Barcelona, before Real Madrid announced this Sunday that they would appear as victims in a judicial inquiry after a meeting of the board of directors.
With another setback coming this Sunday, Athletic continue to slow the pace of their European ambitions, going through a difficult period balancing three losses and a draw in their last four league matches.