Spanish La Liga
Barcelona2Ath Bilbao0

Barcelona 2-0 Athletic Bilbao

Neymar celebrate with Lionel Messi
Neymar's goals were his first for Barcelona in La Liga since 26 March

Neymar came off the bench to score twice as Barcelona defeated a stubborn Athletic Bilbao to maintain their 100% start to the La Liga season.

The Brazilian, making his second Barca appearance since injuring his back at the World Cup, came on in the 63rd minute for a struggling home side.

He quickly made his presence felt with a neat finish following Lionel Messi's pass to break Bilbao's resistance.

And he sealed the win with a close-range finish from another Messi assist.

The goals were the 22-year-old's first since 26 March, when he scored twice in a 3-0 home win over Celta Vigo, and mean Barca have now won all three of their opening games this campaign.

Barca's front two - stats last season
MessiNeymar
League appearances3126
League goals289
Champions League appearances710
Champions League goals84
Other goals52
Total goals4115

Neymar's input was sorely needed by his side, who had enjoyed plenty of possession and chances throughout the game but had failed to break down a well-drilled Bilbao backline before his introduction.

Prior to the match a large banner was unfurled in honour of Catalan National Day, while on the pitch the home side wore their away strip, which incorporates the red and yellow colours of Catalonia.

However, Bilbao were in no mood to gift their hosts victory.

Barcelona forward Neymar
Neymar had only made one previous La Liga appearance this season - as a substitute against Villarreal

Goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz produced a number of fine saves to keep Barca at bay, including parrying Ivan Rakitic's fierce low drive and spreading himself to block from Munir at point-blank range.

Barca academy product Munir thought he had broken the deadlock at the start of the second period as he swept home from close range, but was this time denied by the offside flag as he failed to time his run.

It was Munir who made way for Neymar, who demonstrated the composure his young team-mate had lacked to win the game.

After being sent through on goal by Messi, he rolled his shot past Iraizoz to open the scoring and then killed the contest by slotting home unmarked after being found by a pull-back from his Argentine strike-partner.

Both sides' attentions will now turn to Champions League action on Wednesday as Barca host Cypriots APOEL Nicosia and Athletic welcome Shakhta Donetsk to the new San Mames stadium in their first group stage game in the Champions League for 16 years.

Line-ups

Barcelona

  • 13Bravo
  • 18Alba
  • 2Montoya
  • 24Mathieu
  • 14MascheranoSubstituted forPiquéat 45'minutes
  • 4Rakitic
  • 5BusquetsBooked at 62mins
  • 8Iniesta
  • 7PedroSubstituted forRamírezat 78'minutes
  • 31El HaddadiSubstituted forNeymarat 63'minutes
  • 10Messi

Substitutes

  • 1ter Stegen
  • 3Piqué
  • 6Xavi
  • 11Neymar
  • 20Sergi
  • 21Adriano
  • 29Ramírez

Ath Bilbao

  • 1Iraizoz
  • 10De Marcos
  • 24Balenziaga
  • 4Laporte
  • 18Gurpegi
  • 8Iturraspe
  • 14SusaetaSubstituted forGómezat 63'minutes
  • 19Muniain
  • 17Rico MorenoSubstituted forVigueraat 83'minutes
  • 7Etxebarria UrkiagaSubstituted forLópez Cabreraat 63'minutes
  • 20AdurizBooked at 30mins

Substitutes

  • 6San José
  • 11Gómez
  • 13Herrerín Buisán
  • 15Iraola
  • 16Etxeita
  • 21Viguera
  • 29López Cabrera
Referee:
David Fernández Borbalán
Attendance:
80,181

Match Stats

Home TeamBarcelonaAway TeamAth Bilbao
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home14
Away3
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home5
Away1
Fouls
Home12
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Barcelona 2, Athletic Club 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Barcelona 2, Athletic Club 0.

Offside, Barcelona. Ivan Rakitic tries a through ball, but Neymar is caught offside.

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

Foul by Unai López (Athletic Club).

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

Foul by Martín Montoya (Barcelona).

Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 2, Athletic Club 0. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi.

Substitution

Substitution, Athletic Club. Borja Viguera replaces Mikel Rico.

Foul by Gerard Piqué (Barcelona).

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

Sandro Ramírez (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by Ibai Gómez (Athletic Club).

Goal!

Goal! Barcelona 1, Athletic Club 0. Neymar (Barcelona) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Lionel Messi following a fast break.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Sandro Ramírez replaces Pedro.

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

Delay in match Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) because of an injury.

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Aymeric Laporte.

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

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Mikel Balenziaga.

Attempt missed. Lionel Messi (Barcelona) right footed shot from very close range is too high.

Attempt missed. Neymar (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Pedro following a fast break.

Attempt saved. Aritz Aduriz (Athletic Club) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Unai López.

Substitution

Substitution, Athletic Club. Unai López replaces Beñat.

Substitution

Substitution, Athletic Club. Ibai Gómez replaces Markel Susaeta.

Substitution

Substitution, Barcelona. Neymar replaces Munir El Haddadi.

Booking

Sergio Busquets (Barcelona) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Sergio Busquets (Barcelona).

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

Attempt saved. Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Jordi Alba with a cross.

Attempt missed. Andrés Iniesta (Barcelona) right footed shot from outside the box is too high.

Munir El Haddadi (Barcelona) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Mikel Balenziaga (Athletic Club).

Corner, Barcelona. Conceded by Gorka Iraizoz.

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

Offside, Barcelona. Jordi Alba tries a through ball, but Munir El Haddadi is caught offside.

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

Foul by Beñat (Athletic Club).

Offside, Barcelona. Munir El Haddadi tries a through ball, but Lionel Messi is caught offside.

goal

Top Stories