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
  • 6Hernández
  • 11Neymar
  • 20Roberto Carnicer
  • 21Correia
  • 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

goal

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Saturday 13th September 2014

Top Stories