Barcelona: Pinto; Dani Alves, Piqué,
Busquets, Abidal; Xavi, Mascherano (Maxwell 64'), Iniesta; Pedro (Afellay 91'),
Messi, David Villa (Keita 83'). 4-3-3.
Athletic: Iraizoz; Iraola, Ekiza, Amorebieta, Koikili; Gurpegui, Javi Martínez; Susaeta (David López 82'), Iturraspe (Toquero 46'), Gabilondo (Muniain 70'); Llorente. 4-2-3-1.
1-0. 04. David Villa. Ran in to beat Iraizoz after Dani Alves laid back Xavi's pass.
1-1. 49. Iraola (penalty). After Busquets brought down Llorente inside penalty area.
2-1. 77. Messi. Got ahead of defence to turn Alves cross past Iraizoz on near post.
Yellow cards: Koikili 23', Iraola 31', Dani Alves 35', Busquets 48', Piqué 51', Gurpegui 91'.
Barcelona hold on to their five point lead over Real Madrid after beating fifth placed Athletic Bilbao 2-1 on Sunday night. Guardiola's side took the lead in the fourth minute when Dani Alves played a Xavi pass in to the path of Villa for him to shoot low past Iraizoz, the referee turning down appeals for offside by the Brazilian full back. Messi had a penalty appeal turned down before Villa chipped a shot over the keeper on to the bar, but a few minutes later Llorente brought the save of the night out of Pinto, who had stepped in after Víctor Valdés injured himself in training. Four minutes after the restart Athletic levelled the scores with an Iraola penalty after Busquets (playing in the centre of defence) tripped Llorente in the area. But Messi had another penalty claim rejected and Villa went close before Messi got on the end of another Alves cross to score the winner with a quarter of an hour to go.