|First Division - Day 2|
Athletic Bilbao 0 - Barcelona 2
César, Murillo, Lacruz, Larrazábal; Arriaga (Carlos García
87'), Gurpegui, Julen Guerrero (Tiko 46'), Javi González; Ezquerro
(Aduriz 77'); Urzaiz. 4-4-1-1.
Team changes: Athletic: Lacruz, Larrazábal, Ezquerro for Karanka, Del Horno, Orbaiz / Barcelona: Motta for Gabri.
Barcelona bounced back after their elimination from the cup with a 0-2 win at Athletic Bilbao. The result takes the pressure off Louis Van Gaal, much criticised after they were beaten by second division B side Novelda. Van Gaal went back to his first choice side after resting key players for that match, with Puyol, Luis Enrique and Motta returning after injury. Heynckes picked a young side once again, but they found themselves behind following a Mendieta free kick midway through the first half, Kluivert heading on for Cocu, who's scuffed shot landed at the feet of Luis Enrique for him to score his third of the season.
Arriaga had a chance to level the scores but shot wide, and a quarter of an hour later a clever chipped pass from Kluivert set up Saviola to poke the ball over Lafuente for Barcelona's second of the game. Guerrero headed just wide, but shortly after the break Motta could have extended the lead when he hit the crossbar with a long shot. After that the visitors pulled their horns in and looked for the counter-attack, but despite a couple of dangerous free kicks from Tiko they were unable to beat an excellent Víctor Valdés. Barça's crisis is over for now, but Athletic's is just beginning as they drop to the bottom of the table without a point.